Sexual risk and HIV testing disconnect in men who have sex with men (MSM) recruited to an online HIV self-testing trial

A. J. Rodger*, D. Dunn, L. McCabe, P. Weatherburn, F. C. Lampe, T. C. Witzel, F. Burns, D. Ward, R. Pebody, R. Trevelion, M. Brady, P. D. Kirwan, J. Khawam, Valerie Delpech, M. Gabriel, Y. Collaco-Moraes, A. N. Phillips, S. McCormack

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: We report the frequency of previous HIV testing at baseline in men who have sex with men (MSM) who enrolled in an HIV self-testing (HIVST) randomized controlled trial [an HIV self-testing public health intervention (SELPHI)]. Methods: Criteria for enrolment were age ≥ 16 years, being a man (including trans men) who ever had anal intercourse (AI) with a man, not being known to be HIV positive and having consented to national HIV database linkage. Using online survey baseline data (2017–2018), we assessed associations with never having tested for HIV and not testing in the previous 6 months, among men who reported at least two recent condomless AI (CAI) partners. Results: A total of 10 111 men were randomized; the median age was 33 years [interquartile range (IQR) 26–44 years], 89% were white, 20% were born outside the UK, 0.8% were trans men, 47% were degree educated, and 8% and 4% had ever used and were currently using pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), respectively. In the previous 3 months, 89% reported AI and 72% reported CAI with at least one male partner. Overall, 17%, 33%, 54%, and 72% had tested for HIV in the last 3 months, 6 months, 12 months and 2 years, respectively; 13% had tested more than 2 years ago and 15% had never tested. Among 3972 men reporting at least two recent CAI partners, only 22% had tested in the previous 3 months. Region of residence and education level were independently associated with recent HIV testing. Among current PrEP users, 15% had not tested in the previous 6 months. Conclusions: Most men in SELPHI, particularly those reporting at least two CAI partners and current PrEP users, were not testing in line with current UK recommendations. The results of the trial will inform whether online promotion of HIVST addresses ongoing testing barriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-598
Number of pages11
JournalHIV Medicine
Volume21
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
: The SELPHI study was funded by the NIHR under its Programme Grants for Applied Research Programme (RP‐PG‐1212‐20006). The views expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health. Funding

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. HIV Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British HIV Association

Keywords

  • HIV
  • men who have sex with men
  • risk of HIV infection
  • self-testing

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