Background: Our aim was to describe the use of and responses to a self-management website, 'Health Map', established to address the key chronic health issues of HIV-positive people. Methods: Health Map assessed health issues against current recommendations for: treatment adherence, monitoring CD4 counts and viral load, psychological health and physical activity, vaccination, cholesterol, fasting blood sugar, blood pressure, alcohol consumption, smoking, body mass index, and cervical screening for women and sexually transmissible infection (STI) screening for men who have sex with men (MSM). Results: A total of 552 people, with a mean age of 37 years, completed the full 'Health Map' program, of whom 536 (97%) were Australian, 425 (77%) were male, including 268 (63%) MSM. Online responses to several health indices were of concern: 49% missed at least one dose of antiretroviral therapy per month and only 41% had had an HIV viral load test in the 4 months prior. Only 43% reported regular physical activity, and 49% and 61% reported vaccination for hepatitis A and B. The proportion tested within the recommended periods for fasting cholesterol (40%), fasting blood sugar (35%) and cervical screening (43%) in women or STI screening for MSM (53%) were low. Conclusions: A substantial proportion of individuals completing the online survey reported information that would suggest their HIV and more general health care is suboptimal. These data are consistent with community surveys and indicate the need for improvement in the chronic management of HIV.
- chronic disease