JMIR public health and surveillance 2017 07 073(3) e45 doi 10.2196/publichealth.7397
Regular human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing of persons at risk is critical to HIV prevention. Infrequent HIV testing and late diagnosis of HIV infection have been observed among young black men who have sex with men (MSM) and transwomen (transgender women)-two groups overrepresented in the HIV epidemic.
The objective of this study was to inform the development of a brief mobile phone intervention to increase HIV testing among young black MSM and transwomen by providing a tailored recommendation of an optimal HIV testing approach. We identified demographic, behavioral, psychosocial, and sociostructural factors associated with intentions to use three specific HIV testing approaches: self-testing, testing at a clinic or other provider, and couples HIV testing and counseling (CHTC).
Individuals were eligible for a Web-based survey if they were male at birth; were between the ages of 16 and 29 years; self-identified as black, African American, Caribbean black, African black, or multiethnic black; were not known to be HIV-infected; and reported insertive or receptive anal intercourse with a man or transwoman in the last 12 months. Recruitment occurred via banner advertisements placed on a range of social and sexual networking websites and apps in New York City and nationally, and via events attended by young black MSM and transwomen in New York City. Intention to test by each testing method was analyzed using logistic regression with best subset models and stepwise variable selection.
Among 169 participants, intention to use a self-test was positively associated with comfort in testing by a friend or a partner at home (Adjusted odds ratio, AOR, 2.40; 95% CI 1.09-5.30), and stigma or fear as a reason not to test (AOR 8.61; 95% CI 2.50-29.68) and negatively associated with higher social support (AOR 0.48; 95% CI 0.33-0.72) and having health insurance (AOR 0.21; 95% CI 0.09-0.54). Intention to test at a clinic or other provider was positively associated with self-efficacy for HIV testing (AOR 2.87; 95% CI 1.48-5.59) and social support (AOR 1.98; 95% CI 1.34-2.92), and negatively associated with a lifetime history of incarceration (AOR 0.37; 95% CI 0.16-0.89). Intention to test by CHTC was negatively associated with higher educational level (Some college or Associate’s degree vs high school graduate or less [AOR 0.81; 95% CI 0.39-1.70]; Bachelor’s degree or more vs high school graduate or less [AOR 0.28; 95% CI 0.11-0.70]).
Unique factors were associated with intention to test using specific testing approaches. These data will be critical for the development of a tailored intervention that shows promise to increase comfort and experiences with a variety of testing approaches among young black MSM and transwomen.