HIV risk reduction via Facebook live chat for young men who have sex with men
Methods: YMSM (N=40) completed 1.5-hour baseline online assessments, 1-hour weekly Motivational Interviewing Facebook chat counseling sessions (maximum of 8), and follow-up assessments. Nonparametric tests (Wilcoxon signed ranks tests) were used to evaluate baseline to 3-month follow up outcomes. Sensitivity analyses were also conducted for participants who completed at least one session and follow-ups.
Results: Participants’ mean age was 25.24 (SD=3.22), 46.4% were racial/ethnic minorities, and 46.3% earned < $30,000 annually; 78% attended at least one intervention session. HIV risk decreased from baseline to follow-up: a) number of drug days (M=5.9 vs. M=3.5, p=0.05), b) number of condomless anal sex acts overall (M=9.3 vs. M=3.05, p=0.007), and c) under the influence of drugs (M=6.1 vs. M=0.7, p<0.001). The intervention decreased depression (M=14.7 vs. M=13.4, p=0.09), and increased sexual risk knowledge (M=10.1 vs. M=11.0, p=0.03).
Conclusions: Live chat interventions are promising in reducing condomless anal sex and substance use among YMSM, in addition to improving knowledge of risk and mental health. These pilot findings support future interventions for MSM who do not have ready access to physical resources or prefer to receive counseling via technologies that permeate their lives. Developmentally and culturally appropriate mobile intervention modalities hold promise in reaching YMSM across geographic regions to effect HIV risk reductions.
Learning Areas:Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Demonstrate the efficacy of a live chat online intervention in reducing persistent HIV risk among YMSM, as a feasible, generational resonant prevention modality. Identify strategies to promote sexual health among YMSM that account for context-specific risks and sources of support determined by individuals’ location across geographical areas.
Keyword(s): HIV Interventions, Minority Health
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of one federally funded grant and co-investigator on two federally funded grants focusing on HIV risk reduction and well-being among sexual minorities at high risk for poor health outcomes. My applied research strives to find new strategies for HIV prevention that are embedded in individuals' lives and serve to improve their physical and mental health, above and beyond HIV.
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.