A Psychosocial intervention for people living with HIV: evidence from a randomised evaluation. The SPHERE RCT will start recruiting participants in June 2024 in HIV clinics in England.

Aim: The aim of the SPHERE randomised controlled trial is to assess whether a psychosocial health coaching and social prescribing intervention improves patient reported health and wellbeing among PLWH.

Sites: The study will start recruiting from 7 HIV clinics across England in April 2024.


-A wellbeing coaching and social prescribing intervention based within the HIV clinic.

-Delivered by experienced HIV healthcare professionals, trained in coaching and social prescribing.

-The trial will be for people living with HIV who have symptoms of depression or other psychosocial needs.

Key Features of the trial:

Secondary care-based intervention – People with HIV have greater engagement and trust in secondary care and rate the services highly.

Coach is HIV health care professional -specialist knowledge, reduce fears of stigma and discrimination, referral if needed to psychologists who also specialise in HIV. Feeds back into greater knowledge and experience in the clinic.

Coach is trained by organisation with experience in HIV – specialised training for HIV healthcare professionals through our partner LivingWell 

Social prescribing is a key feature of the intervention to address social needs that are not within the remit of routine HIV care.


Trial Progress: We are working with 7 HIV clinics across England, three in London (Barts and the London, Chelsea and Westminster, Kings) and four outside of London; Brighton, Sheffield, Manchester and Bristol.

Each clinical site has had two experienced HIV healthcare professionals trained in Health and Wellbeing Coaching and Social Prescribing.

The study will launch in June 2024 once all regulatory and ethical approvals have been provided.


The study is managed by our collaborator, Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit.