The impact of representative payee services on medication adherence among unstably housed people living with HIV/AIDS
Mary E. Hawk
Rates of viral suppression among people living with HIV/AIDS remain low, especially within marginalized populations such as people who are unstably housed. Representative payee is a service in which the US Social Security Administration appoints an individual or an organization to provide financial management for vulnerable individuals who are unable to manage their finances including housing payments. Little or no published research examines the association between financial management services such as representative payee and HIV clinical adherence. We conducted a pilot study with 18 unstably housed participants living with HIV/AIDS to examine the impact of representative payee services on viral suppression. Of the 11 participants who were not virally suppressed at baseline, 9 (81.8%) of them had achieved viral suppression at six-month follow-up (p = .004). Our findings suggest that providing unstably housed people living with HIV/AIDS with representative payee services may help them to improve their housing stability and clinical adherence. Additional research is needed to fully explore correlations between representative payee services and viral suppression.