Online Program

Rapid home HIV testing among African American men who have sex with men: Implications for message framing

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lisa Eaton, PhD, Human Development and Family Studies/CHIP, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Daniel Driffin, BS, University of Connecticut, Atlanta, GA
Harlan Smith, University of Connecticut, Atlanta, GA
Christopher Conway-Washington, University of Connecticut, Atlanta, GA
Cody White, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Michael Sagherian, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Background: African American men who have sex with men (AAMSM) experience a disproportionate burden of HIV infections. Recently, FDA approved rapid home-based HIV testing (RHT); this test may serve as an important tool for fighting the HIV epidemic among AAMSM. However, little is known about RHT beliefs, perceptions and use among AAMSM. Furthermore, there has been limited guidance provided to men on using RHT with sex partners. Methods: We surveyed men attending a Black Gay Pride Festival and asked them to report on awareness of, experiences with and intentions to use RHT; and recent sex behavior. Results: 585 AAMSM were included the study; 27% reported being HIV positive. Around half of the sample (48%) had heard of RHT, 13% had ever used RHT. A majority of both HIV negative/unknown and HIV positive men reported intentions to use RHT before sex with a partner. Men who reported the greatest sexual risk taking were least likely to report intentions of using RHT. Conclusions: Based on the current findings and review of the literature, we have developed recommendations for developing message framing around the use of RHT. These components include considerations regarding expectations about the role of RHT in HIV prevention, access to RHT, social factors relevant to using RHT with partners, and linkage-to-care. In order to realize the full potential of RHT for HIV prevention, we must take steps now to best address how RHT will be scaled-up, in particular among populations in greatest need.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Define the benefits and costs of RHT, under what circumstances this technology should be used, and who would benefit most from it. Describe important considerations around effectively using RHT for men engaging in sexual risk behavior.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been an investigator on multiple studies involving HIV/AIDS prevention interventions and have extensively researched methods in modifying high-risk sexual behaviors and attitudes in various populations. One of my main interests is finding ways to create positive changes in both psychological and behavioral variables in at-risk populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.