HIV Self-Testing to Promote Serostatus Disclosure Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in China: Protocol for a Stepped Wedge Randomized Controlled Trial.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Disclosure of HIV serostatus is important for the prevention of HIV infection among men who have sex with men (MSM). However, knowledge of sexual partners' HIV status among MSM in China is low. As a complement to HIV testing services, HIV self-testing (HIVST) has considerable potential to promote serostatus disclosure. OBJECTIVE:The primary objective of our trial is to evaluate the effect of HIVST on improving serostatus disclosure to sexual partners. We hypothesize that MSM in an intervention condition will have a higher awareness of the HIV status of their sexual partners compared with MSM in the control condition. The secondary aims are to evaluate (i) changes in sexual behaviors after disclosure of HIV status by sexual partners, (ii) promotion of the frequency of HIV and syphilis testing on participants and their sexual partners, and (iii) factors that restrict the disclosure of HIV infection to sexual partners. We hypothesize that MSM in the intervention condition will exhibit safer sexual decision making and a higher rate of HIV testing uptake compared with MSM in the control condition. METHODS:A stepped wedge randomized controlled trial will be conducted throughout China. Study recruitment of 800 MSM will be promoted through advertisements released on WeChat public accounts. Individuals who are born biologically male, aged ?18 years, HIV negative, and who have not undergone HIV testing in the past 3 months will be recruited. Eligible men will be randomly divided (1:1:1:1) into four groups and randomized. The group cluster will initiate the intervention so that participants will be provided with 2-4 free finger prick-based HIVST kits until trial completion. The intervention period for participants in each of the four groups will be initiated at 3-month intervals. Men in both groups will be required to complete a baseline and four follow-up surveys every 3 months. The primary intervention outcome will evaluate the effect of the distribution of HIVST kits on improvement in the disclosure of sexual partners' HIV status. The secondary outcomes will be changes in sexual behaviors after disclosure of HIV status from sexual partners, the promotion of the frequency of HIVST on participants and their sexual partners, and the factors that restrict disclosure of HIV status to sexual partners. RESULTS:Subject recruitment began in August 2018. The first round of follow-up surveys post intervention is complete, with three rounds remaining to be done. Data analysis was scheduled for April 2020 and the results will be disseminated through conferences and peer-reviewed publications. CONCLUSIONS:Few studies have evaluated interventions to increase knowledge of sexual partners' HIV status among MSM. Our trial will provide information on the link between HIVST and HIV serostatus disclosure. The findings of this trial will facilitate the implementation of HIVST services to help control the spread of HIV among MSM in China. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Chinese Clinical Trial Registry ChiCTR1800019453; http://www.chictr.org.cn/showproj.aspx?proj=30158. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID):DERR1-10.2196/17788.
Project description:HIV serostatus disclosure before sex can facilitate serosorting, condom use and potentially decrease the risk of HIV acquisition. However, few studies have evaluated HIV serostatus disclosure from partners before sex. We examined the rate and correlates of receiving HIV serostatus disclosure from regular and casual male partners before sex among an online sample of men who have sex with men (MSM) in China. An online cross-sectional study was conducted among MSM in eight Chinese cities in July 2016. Participants completed questions covering sociodemographic information, sexual behaviors, HIV testing (including HIV self-testing) history, self-reported HIV status, and post-test violence. In addition, participants were asked whether they received HIV serostatus disclosure from their most recent partners before sex. Overall, 2105 men completed the survey. Among them, 85.9% were never married, and 35.4% had high school or less education. A minority (20.6%, 346/1678; 17.8%, 287/1608) of men received HIV serostatus disclosure from their most recent regular and casual male partners, respectively. Multivariate analysis indicated that participants who ever self-tested for HIV were more likely to have received HIV status disclosure from regular [adjusted OR (aOR) = 1.92, 95% CI 1.50-2.44] and casual (aOR = 2.34, 95% CI 1.80-3.04) male partners compared to never self-tested participants. Compared to participants who had not received HIV status disclosure from regular partners, participants who received disclosure from regular male partners had higher likelihood in experiencing post-test violence (aOR = 5.18, 95% CI 1.53-17.58). Similar results were also found for receiving HIV serostatus disclosure from casual partners. This study showed that HIV serostatus disclosure from partners was uncommon among Chinese MSM. Interventions and further implementation research to facilitate safe disclosure are urgently needed for MSM.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:We sought to evaluate whether HIV-positive adults in Malawi were willing to distribute HIV self-testing (HIVST) kits to their sexual partners of unknown HIV status (index HIVST). DESIGN:A mixed-methods study was nested within a larger HIVST trial conducted at 15 health facilities in Malawi. Exit surveys were conducted with HIV-positive adults during routine outpatient department visits to assess perceived acceptability of index partner HIVST versus standard partner referral slips that request partner(s) to attend the health facility. Individuals were included in the sub-analysis irrespective of date of HIV diagnosis or ART initiation (or non-initiation). In-depth interviews were conducted with a sub-sample of respondents. RESULTS:404 HIV-positive adults completed a survey (159 male and 245 female); 21 completed in-depth interviews. Respondents reported feeling more comfortable distributing HIVST versus partner referral slips to their partners (90% vs. 81%) and expressed confidence that their partners would test using HIVST compared to referral slips (77% vs. 66%). Acceptability of HIVST did not vary by sex. Qualitative data revealed that index HIVST was perceived to be private, convenient, and may strengthen relationships by assisting in serostatus disclosure. There were minimal fears of adverse events. Reported barriers to index HIVST included lack of trust within the relationship and harmful gender norms. CONCLUSIONS:HIV-positive clients were willing to distribute HIVST kits to their sexual partners of unknown serostatus. Additional studies are needed to evaluate use of HIVST by index partners, positivity, linkage to care, and adverse events related to index partner HIVST, such as coercion to test among index partners or interpersonal violence among index clients.
Project description:Knowledge of HIV status can be important in reducing the risk of HIV exposure. In a European sample of men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM), we aimed to identify factors associated with HIV serostatus disclosure to the most recent anal intercourse (AI) partner. We also aimed to describe the impact of HIV serostatus disclosure on HIV exposure risks.During 2013 and 2014, 4901 participants were recruited for the bio-behavioural Sialon-II study in 13 European cities. Behavioural data were collected with a self-administered paper questionnaire. Biological specimens were tested for HIV antibodies. Factors associated with HIV serostatus disclosure with the most recent AI partner were examined using bivariate and multilevel multivariate logistic regression analysis. We also describe the role of serostatus disclosure for HIV exposure of the most recent AI partner.Thirty-five percent (n = 1450) of the study participants reported mutual serostatus disclosure with their most recent AI partner or disclosed having HIV to their partner. Most of these disclosures occurred between steady partners (74%, n = 1077). In addition to the type of partner and HIV diagnosis status, other factors positively associated with HIV serostatus disclosure in the multilevel multivariate logistic regression model were recent testing, no condom use, and outness regarding sexual orientation. Disclosure rates were lowest in three south-eastern European cities. Following condom use (51%, n = 2099), HIV serostatus disclosure (20%, n = 807) was the second most common prevention approach with the most recent AI partner, usually resulting in serosorting. A potential HIV exposure risk for the partner was reported by 26% (111/432) of HIV antibody positive study participants. In 18% (20/111) of exposure episodes, an incorrect HIV serostatus was unknowingly communicated. Partner exposures were equally distributed between steady and non-steady partners.The probability of HIV exposure through condomless AI is substantially lower after serostatus disclosure compared to non-disclosure. Incorrect knowledge of one's HIV status contributes to a large proportion of HIV exposures amongst European MSM. Maintaining or improving condom use for anal intercourse with non-steady partners, frequent testing to update HIV serostatus awareness, and increased serostatus disclosure particularly between steady partners are confirmed as key aspects for reducing HIV exposures amongst European MSM.
Project description:As HIV infection continues unabated, there is a need for effective interventions targeting at-risk men who have sex with men (MSM). Engaging MSM online where they meet sexual partners is critical for HIV prevention efforts.A randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted online among U.S. MSM recruited from several gay sexual networking websites assessed the impact of 2 HIV prevention videos and an HIV prevention webpage compared to a control condition for the study outcomes HIV testing, serostatus disclosure, and unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) at 60-day follow-up. Video conditions were pooled due to reduced power from low retention (53%, n = 1,631). No participant incentives were provided.Follow-up was completed by 1,631 (53%) of 3,092 eligible men. In the 60 days after the intervention, men in the pooled video condition were significantly more likely than men in the control to report full serostatus disclosure ('asked and told') with their last sexual partner (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.01-1.74). Comparing baseline to follow-up, HIV-negative men in the pooled video (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.54-0.91) and webpage condition (OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.25-0.72) significantly reduced UAI at follow-up. HIV-positive men in the pooled video condition significantly reduced UAI (OR 0.38, 95% CI 0.20-0.67) and serodiscordant UAI (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.28-0.96) at follow-up.Findings from this online RCT of MSM recruited from sexual networking websites suggest that a low cost, brief digital media intervention designed to engage critical thinking can increase HIV disclosure to sexual partners and decrease sexual risk. Effective, brief HIV prevention interventions featuring digital media that are made widely available may serve as a complementary part of an overall behavioral and biomedical strategy for reducing sexual risk by addressing the specific needs and circumstances of the target population, and by changing individual knowledge, motivations, and community norms.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00649701.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The HIV epidemic is rapidly growing among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China, yet HIV testing remains suboptimal. We aimed to determine the impact of HIV self-testing (HIVST) interventions on frequency of HIV testing among Chinese MSM and their sexual partners. METHODS AND FINDINGS:This randomized controlled trial was conducted in 4 cities in Hunan Province, China. Sexually active and HIV-negative MSM were recruited from communities and randomly assigned (1:1) to intervention or control arms. Participants in the control arm had access to site-based HIV testing (SBHT); those in the intervention arm were provided with 2 free finger-prick-based HIVST kits at enrollment and could receive 2 to 4 kits delivered through express mail every 3 months for 1 year in addition to SBHT. They were encouraged to distribute HIVST kits to their sexual partners. The primary outcome was the number of HIV tests taken by MSM participants, and the secondary outcome was the number of HIV tests taken by their sexual partners during 12 months of follow-up. The effect size for the primary and secondary outcomes was evaluated as the standardized mean difference (SMD) in testing frequency between intervention and control arms. Between April 14, 2018, and June 30, 2018, 230 MSM were recruited. Mean age was 29 years; 77% attended college; 75% were single. The analysis population who completed at least one follow-up questionnaire included 110 (93%, 110/118) in the intervention and 106 (95%, 106/112) in the control arm. The average frequency of HIV tests per participant in the intervention arm (3.75) was higher than that in the control arm (1.80; SMD 1.26; 95% CI 0.97-1.55; P < 0.001). This difference was mainly due to the difference in HIVST between the 2 arms (intervention 2.18 versus control 0.41; SMD 1.30; 95% CI 1.01-1.59; P < 0.001), whereas the average frequency of SBHT was comparable (1.57 versus 1.40, SMD 0.14; 95% CI -0.13 to 0.40; P = 0.519). The average frequency of HIV tests among sexual partners of each participant was higher in intervention than control arm (2.65 versus 1.31; SMD 0.64; 95% CI 0.36-0.92; P < 0.001), and this difference was also due to the difference in HIVST between the 2 arms (intervention 1.41 versus control 0.36; SMD 0.75; 95% CI 0.47-1.04; P < 0.001) but not SBHT (1.24 versus 0.96; SMD 0.23; 95% CI -0.05 to 0.50; P = 0.055). Zero-inflated Poisson regression analyses showed that the likelihood of taking HIV testing among intervention participants were 2.1 times greater than that of control participants (adjusted rate ratio [RR] 2.10; 95% CI 1.75-2.53, P < 0.001), and their sexual partners were 1.55 times more likely to take HIV tests in the intervention arm compared with the control arm (1.55, 1.23-1.95, P < 0.001). During the study period, 3 participants in the intervention arm and none in the control arm tested HIV positive, and 8 sexual partners of intervention arm participants also tested positive. No other adverse events were reported. Limitations in this study included the data on number of SBHT were solely based on self-report by the participants, but self-reported number of HIVST in the intervention arm was validated; the number of partner HIV testing was indirectly reported by participants because of difficulties in accessing each of their partners. CONCLUSIONS:In this study, we found that providing free HIVST kits significantly increased testing frequency among Chinese MSM and effectively enlarged HIV testing coverage by enhancing partner HIV testing through distribution of kits within their sexual networks. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Chinese Clinical Trial Registry ChiCTR1800015584.
Project description:Unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) is a major pathway towards secondary HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM). We explored the socio-cultural environment and individual beliefs and experiences conducive to UAI in the context of Southern China.We employed an ethnographic approach utilizing a socio-ecological framework to conduct repeated in-depth interviews with thirty one newly diagnosed HIV positive MSM as well as participant observations in Shenzhen based healthcare settings, MSM venues and NGO offices.Some men (6/31) reported continuing to practice UAI after an initial diagnosis of being HIV positive. For MSM who had existing lovers or stable partners, the fear of losing partners in a context of non-serostatus disclosure was testified to be a major concern. MSM with casual partners reported that anonymous sexual encounters and moral judgments played a significant role in their sexual risk behaviors. Simultaneously, self-reported negative emotional and psychological status, perception and idiosyncratic risk interpretation, as well as substance abuse informed the intrapersonal context for UAI.UAI among these HIV positive MSM was embedded in an intrapersonal context, related to partner type, shaped by anonymous sexual encounters, psychological status, and moral judgments. It is important that prevention and intervention for secondary HIV transmission among newly diagnosed HIV positive MSM in China take into account these contextual factors.
Project description:Sexual networks may place U.S. Black men who have sex with men (MSM) at increased HIV risk.Self-reported egocentric sexual network data from the prior six months were collected from 1,349 community-recruited Black MSM in HPTN 061, a multi-component HIV prevention intervention feasibility study. Sexual network composition, size, and density (extent to which members are having sex with one another) were compared by self-reported HIV serostatus and age of the men. GEE models assessed network and other factors associated with having a Black sex partner, having a partner with at least two age category difference (age difference between participant and partner of at least two age group categories), and having serodiscordant/serostatus unknown unprotected anal/vaginal intercourse (SDUI) in the last six months.Over half had exclusively Black partners in the last six months, 46% had a partner of at least two age category difference, 87% had ≤5 partners. Nearly 90% had sex partners who were also part of their social networks. Among HIV-negative men, not having anonymous/exchange/ trade partners and lower density were associated with having a Black partner; larger sexual network size and having non-primary partners were associated with having a partner with at least two age category difference; and having anonymous/exchange/ trade partners was associated with SDUI. Among HIV-positive men, not having non-primary partners was associated with having a Black partner; no sexual network characteristics were associated with having a partner with at least two age category difference and SDUI.Black MSM sexual networks were relatively small and often overlapped with the social networks. Sexual risk was associated with having non-primary partners and larger network size. Network interventions that engage the social networks of Black MSM, such as interventions utilizing peer influence, should be developed to address stable partnerships, number of partners, and serostatus disclosure.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:HIV epidemic is increasing among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China, yet HIV testing uptake remains low. As an emerging approach, HIV self-testing (HIVST) has the potential to promote HIV testing coverage and frequency in this population. However, evidence of the effectiveness on implementation of HIVST among Chinese MSM and their sexual partners is scarce. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:The randomised controlled trial will be performed in Changsha, Changde, Shaoyang and Yiyang, Hunan province, China, recruiting 184 recent testers (men who had at least one HIV test within the past 2 years) and 26 non-recent testers (men who did not have HIV tests within 2 years or never had an HIV test). Eligible men will be randomly divided 1:1 into two groups: intervention (with free HIVST kits plus site-based HIV testing services) and control (site-based HIV testing services only). Participants in the intervention group will be provided with two free finger-prick-based HIVST kits, and can apply for two to four kits every 3 months for 1?year.Participants in both groups will complete questionnaires via WeChat at five separate times: baseline, third, sixth, ninth and twelfth month. The primary outcome is the mean number of HIV tests for MSM over the 12-month study period. The secondary outcome is the mean number of HIV tests for sexual partners of MSM over the 12-month study period. The tertiary outcomes are the self-reported proportion of consistent condom usage for anal sex, and the numbers of sexual partners during the 12-month study period. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:The study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of Behavioural and Nursing Research in Xiangya School of Nursing of Central South University, China (2018002). Study results will be disseminated through conferences and academic journals. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:ChiCTR1800015584; Pre-results.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The World Health Organization has recommended HIV self-testing (HIVST) as an alternative testing strategy given the limitations of facility-based testing. While the benefits of HIV self-testing have been demonstrated at the individual level among men who have sex with men (MSM), limited data exist on if this testing approach can be effectively diffused through individuals' social or sexual networks. The objectives of this study were to examine patterns and correlates of HIVST distribution within Chinese MSM's sexual networks. METHODS:Data used for this analysis was a part of the process evaluation of an HIVST intervention trial among MSM in Nanjing, China. Between May and October 2017, we enrolled 400 men into the trial. Participants assigned to the intervention group (N = 200) were given three HIVST kits at baseline and could request more during the follow-up periods. We incorporated measures for process evaluation in the self-administered online follow-up surveys. This analysis reported findings from the three-month follow-up survey in the intervention group. Frequencies and percentages were used to describe characteristics of participants who distributed kits to their sexual partners as well as patterns of distribution. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted to identify independent correlates of participants who distributed the kits. RESULTS:Of the 177 participants retained (88.5%) at the three-month follow-up, 72 (40.7%) distributed one or more kits to either primary or casual partners. About half of distributors (51.4%) gave one HIVST kit to their sexual partners while 15.3% distributed 3 or more. Over half gave these kits (58.3%) to primary sexual partners while 27.8% reported giving the kits to both primary and casual partners. About half (54.2%) of distributors used the kits together with their partners. Compared to participants who had an HIV test in the past six months, those who tested over six months ago or never tested had significantly lower odds of distributing the kits (AOR = 0.484, 95% CI: 0.250-0.983, p = 0.032). Compared to those who had not used the kits themselves, participants who did had significantly higher odds of distributing the kits (AOR = 3.345, 95% CI: 1.488-7.517, p = 0.003). Participants who reported higher HIV testing efficacy had 2.051 fold greater odds (95% CI: 1.062-3.961, p = 0.033) of distributing the kits compared to those who had lower efficacy. CONCLUSION:Our study demonstrated that a sexual network-based approach to distributing HIVST among Chinese MSM is feasible and can be a promising strategy to improve the effectiveness of HIVST programs including its reach to untested men. Such approach should be complimented by intervention components that enhance HIV testing efficacy and improve experiences of HIVST.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>HIV self-testing (HIVST) kits are common in key sexually active populations. Direct secondary distribution of HIVST kits (DSDHK) is effective in improving the uptake of HIVST. However, there are concerns about the various limitations of DSDHK, including limited geographic reach, payment problems, and need for face-to-face interactions.<h4>Objective</h4>In this study, we aim to evaluate the feasibility and characteristics of indirect secondary distribution of HIVST kits (ISDHK) via WeChat (distributing HIVST application links and follow-up HIVST kits to partners) among men who have sex with men (MSM).<h4>Methods</h4>From October 2017 to September 2019, an HIVST recruitment advertisement was disseminated on the WeChat social media platform to invite MSM to apply for the HIVST kits (referred to as index participants [IPs]). All MSM participants were encouraged to distribute the HIVST application link to their friends and sexual partners (referred to as alters) through their social networks. All the alters were further encouraged to continue distributing the HIVST application link. All participants paid a deposit (US $7), which was refundable upon completion of the questionnaire, and uploaded the test results via a web-based survey system.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 2263 MSM met the criteria and successfully applied for HIVST. Of these, 1816 participants returned their HIVST results, including 1422 (88.3%) IPs and 394 (21.7%) alters. More alters had condomless anal intercourse, a higher proportion of them had never previously tested for HIV, and they showed a greater willingness to distribute HIVST kits to their sexual partners (P=.002) than the IPs. After controlling for age, education, and income, the alters had a greater proportion of MSM who had never tested for HIV before (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.29, 95% CI 1.00-1.68), were more willing to distribute the HIVST application link (aOR 1.71, 95% CI 1.21-2.40), had a lower number of sexual partners (aOR 0.71, 95% CI 0.57-0.90), and were less likely to search for sexual partners on the web (aOR 0.78, 95% CI 0.60-1.02) than IPs. In comparison, the rates of reactive HIVST results, conducting HIV confirmatory tests, HIV seropositivity, and initiation of HIV antiretroviral therapy were similar for IPs and alters.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The ISDHK model of distributing HIVST application links among the MSM population via social media is feasible. The ISDHK model should be used to supplement the DSDHK model to enable a greater proportion of the MSM population to know their HIV infection status.