HIV is still the leading cause of death in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), despite medical advances. eHealth interventions are effective for HIV prevention and management, but it is unclear whether this can be generalised to resource-poor settings. This systematic review aimed to establish the effectiveness of eHealth interventions in SSA. Six electronic databases were screened to identify randomised controlled trials (RCTs) published between 2000 and 2020. Meta-analyses were performed, following Cochrane methodology, to assess the impact of eHealth interventions on HIV-related behaviours and biological outcomes. 25 RCTs were included in the review. Meta-analyses show that eHealth interventions significantly improved HIV management behaviours (OR 1.21; 95% CI 1.05–1.40; Z = 2.67; p = 0.008), but not HIV prevention behaviours (OR 1.02; 95% CI 0.78–1.34; Z = 0.17; p = 0.86) or biological outcomes (OR 1.17; 95% CI 0.89–1.54; Z = 1.10; p = 0.27) compared with minimal intervention control groups. It is a hugely important finding that eHealth interventions can improve HIV management behaviours as this is a low-cost way of improving HIV outcomes and reducing the spread of HIV in SSA. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42020186025.
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- Human immunodeficiency virus
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- Systematic review