Online Program

Rapid, at-home HIV testing: Contributing to riskier sexual behavior among men who have sex with men (MSM)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Matthew Weissman, School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) continues to be a deadly epidemic, infecting 2.5 million people each year. In the United States, 56,000 people contract HIV annually, with men who have sex with men (MSM) disproportionately affected. HIV prevention methods have historically relied on education and condom use; however, novel techniques have emerged as components of comprehensive HIV prevention. In October 2012, the FDA approved at-home, rapid HIV testing, with test results obtained after twenty minutes. While research studies were conducted to see how individuals would react to a positive test result from using the new test, no studies were done to determine the effect on sexual behavior if a negative test result was obtained.

This study utilized an online survey of MSM who frequent sex-based websites. 100 surveys were collected, with 88% indicating an interest in using the new at-home, rapid HIV test. Individuals were 9 times more likely to decrease condom use if a negative test were obtained. MSM who ranked higher on a risk index for HIV acquisition were significantly more likely to have an interest in using the at-home, rapid HIV test (p = 0.03), and to decrease condom use behavior (p = 0.02) after obtaining test results. These results have tremendous public health implications since at-home, rapid HIV tests have 92% specificity, with one out of sixteen HIV-positive individuals testing negative. More research is needed to determine if increased risky, sexual behavior as a result of using rapid, at-home testing will impact rates of new HIV infections.

Learning Areas:

Public health biology
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Explain how at-home, rapid HIV testing will change condom use behavior. Audience members will be able to discuss why HIV prevention is still immensely critical, and how HIV prevention techniques have evolved.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Gay Men

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I, Matthew Weissman, with guidance from Dr. Morisky, was responsible for (1) the conception and design or analysis and interpretation of data and (2) the drafting and final approval of the submitted abstract. He designed the research study, collected the data, interpreted and analyzed the data, and drafted the submitted abstract. He has given final approval for the submitted abstract.
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.