An inner Sydney sexual health service introduced the option to gay and bisexual men of receiving a negative HIV result by SMS to mobile phone one business day after venipuncture (rapid SMS). Men could also choose one of the other options: a point-of-care-test (POCT), by phone, or in-person (clinicians could also require in-person). We followed-up patients choosing the rapid SMS method to ascertain their satisfaction. During 12 months, 473 men had 591 HIV tests. Of these tests, 5.4% were POCTs, 9.1% were in-person, 24% were by phone, and 62% were rapid SMS. HIV POCTs declined from being 22% of result methods in the pre-study period to 5.4% during the rapid SMS intervention period (odds ratio 0.20, 95% CI 0.13-0.32, P < 0.0001). Phone/in-person results declined from 78% to 33% (odds ratio 0.14, 95% CI 0.10-0.20, P < 0.0001). SMS was sent by the next business day in 95% of cases; 96% of men were satisfied; and 95% would choose this method for their next test. Of 77 men who previously had an HIV POCT, 56 (73%) elected a rapid SMS result rather than having another POCT. The higher accuracy of conventional serology was commonly expressed as the reason for choosing rapid SMS for results.
Providing HIV results via SMS one day after testing: more popular than rapid point-of-care tests.