142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Promoting HIV testing online among MSM through the CyBER/testing intervention: Baseline characteristics of participants and qualitative analysis of intervention delivery

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 5:30 PM - 5:45 PM

Scott Rhodes, PhD, MPH, CHES, FAAHB , Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Jason Stowers, AAS , Triad Health Project, Greensboro, NC
Christina J. Sun, PhD, MS , Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Cynthia Miller , Division of Public Health Sciences/Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC
Lilli Mann, MPH
Jorge Alonzo, JD , Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
David A. Moskowitz, PhD , Epidemiology and Community Health, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY
Laura Bachmann, MD, MPH , Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease, Wake Forest University School of Medcine, Winston-Salem, NC
Background: The Internet has emerged as a tool for social and sexual networking for MSM. CyBER/testing is an online social network intervention found to increase HIV testing among MSM during our single-site pilot test.

Methods: Our CBPR partnership is evaluating the CyBER/testing intervention using a repeated cross-sectional matched pair community randomized design. The intervention was implemented for 12 months in 2 geographically focused intervention communities through 4 preexisting online social networking sites; it is currently being implemented in delayed-intervention communities. We collected quantitative and qualitative data to describe intervention participant characteristics and to document intervention delivery.

Results: At baseline, the mean age of the 615 participants was 42 years. Over half self-identified as gay; 30% as bisexual; and 11% as heterosexual/straight. Three-fourths reported ever being tested for HIV, and 9.6% reported being HIV positive. Of those who reported anal sex with a man (60% of total sample), 39% reported consistent condom use, and of those who reported vaginal or anal sex with a woman (37% of total sample), 10% reported consistent condom use, during the past 12 months.

From analysis of intervention transcripts, 4 domains emerged: characteristics of online MSM (e.g., some navigated multiple identities); trust (e.g., some online MSM disclosed needs after building trust through "small talk"); sexual health priorities; and needs related to living with HIV (e.g., support, dating, and volunteer opportunities).

Conclusions: Online MSM have sexual health needs and are receptive to outreach using online social networking sites, which may reach MSM not reached using other strategies.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe some of the characteristics and sexual health priorities and needs of online MSM in a southeastern state experiencing disproportionate HIV infection rates compared to national rates; Outline promising components of an Internet-based social network intervention; and Apply findings to future research and intervention development, implementation, and evaluation to reduce sexual risk among MSM using Internet-based social networking technologies.

Keyword(s): Menís Health, Internet

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am PI of multiple NIH- and CDC- research studies particularly focusing on HIV prevention within sexual minority communities. I have published >100 peer-reviewed papers on CBPR and HIV prevention.
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.