Using Technology to Support HIV Self-Testing among MSM

August 2017 - Structural Prevention

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LeGrand, S., Muessig K.E., Horvath, K.J., et al. Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS (June 2017), doi:12:000–000, 10.1097/COH.0000000000000400.

This review of 15 studies summarized HIV self-testing (HST) technologies that address barriers to HIV testing among men who have sex with men (MSM). Grindr, a geospatial dating application for gay and bisexual men, advertised free HST kits available through a study. Post-test surveys found that most MSM preferred HST over clinic-based testing. HST kits were also reported as easy to use. In China, HST was provided by mail to 198 online survey participants. Participants reported a preference for HST use due to convenience (46%) and privacy (40%); 67 percent said that they would self-test again if it was free. The application, HealthMindr, was developed for MSM and included health self-assessment tools and reminders of HIV service locators, along with access to free condoms and HST. The application was well-received; participants most often used access to free condoms and HST. Pre-test counseling has been provided to MSM via videoconferencing, and peer-based counseling to young MSM via video chat. An application currently under development will provide a "virtual reality experience” for users to improve adolescent HST experiences. Bluetooth® technology is also being applied to HST so when a kit is opened, the user receives a phone call within 24 hours to receive post-test counseling. The authors endorsed using technology that is available in low-resource settings to increase HST globally.

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