eTest: Real-time, Remote Monitoring System for Home-based HIV Testing Among High-risk Men Who Have Sex With Men (eTest)

  • STATUS
    Recruiting
  • End date
    Dec 1, 2023
  • participants needed
    2000
  • sponsor
    Brown University
Updated on 4 February 2022
hiv test
HIV Vaccine
Accepts healthy volunteers

Summary

The proposed research will conduct a fully-powered efficacy trial of this approach in areas with large populations of AA and H/L MSM and high HIV incidence: Jackson, MS, Los Angeles, CA, and Boston, MA. High-risk MSM who have not tested for HIV in the last year will be recruited from MSM-oriented "hook-up" mobile apps, and assigned to receive either (1) HBST with post-test phone counseling/referral ("eTEST" condition), (2) "standard" HBST without active follow-up, or (3) reminders to get tested for HIV at a local clinic ("control" condition) at three month intervals over the course of 12 months. The investigators will explore the impact of the eTEST system on key outcomes, including rates of HIV testing, receipt of additional HIV prevention services, and PrEP initiation, compared with standard HBST or clinic-based testing reminders alone. The investigators will also explore the cost effectiveness of the eTEST system under various scenarios compared with relying on traditional, clinic-based testing alone.

Description

HIV disproportionately affects men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States, and new infections continue to increase particularly among African American (AA) and Hispanic/Latino (H/L) MSM. Past studies estimate that up to 50% of these new infections originate from the approximately 20% of MSM who are unaware of their status. Expanded HIV testing can produce reductions in incidence when implemented on a broad scale by facilitating earlier diagnosis and treatment. Rates of HIV testing are particularly low among AA and H/L MSM, and innovative approaches to encourage testing may help address high incidence in these men. Home-based, self-testing (HBST) for HIV offers considerable promise for increasing the number of MSM who are aware of their status by overcoming key barriers to clinic-based testing, such as inconvenience and confidentiality concerns. HBST may also be particularly well-suited for AA and H/L MSM, given that stigma and mistrust of medical care contribute to low testing rates. Despite its promise, however, many are concerned that HBST does not sufficiently connect users with critical post-testing resources, such as confirmatory testing and care among those who test positive, and that these limitations may result in delayed linkage to care. Existing, FDA-approved HBST kits provide a free, 24-hour helpline that offers these services to those who seek it, but few users do, and this "passive" approach may miss critical opportunities to engage with MSM for further prevention services.

To address these challenges, the investigators developed a mobile health platform ("eTEST") that uses internet-of-things (IoT) technologies to monitor when HBST users open their tests in real time, allowing the investigators to provide timely, "active" follow-up counseling and referral over the phone after they do so. In a pilot study, the investigators show that providing HBST by mail at regular intervals boosted rates of any/repeat HIV testing among high-risk MSM compared with clinic-based testing reminders. Moreover, those who received follow-up phone counseling after HBST were more likely to receive risk reduction counseling, to consult with a medical provider about PrEP, and to initiate PrEP. Given these promising results, the proposed research will conduct a fully-powered efficacy trial of this approach in areas with large populations of AA and H/L MSM and high HIV incidence: Jackson, MS, Los Angeles, CA, and Boston, MA. High-risk MSM who have not tested for HIV in the last year will be recruited from MSM-oriented "hook-up" mobile apps, and assigned to receive either (1) HBST with post-test phone counseling/referral ("eTEST" condition), (2) "standard" HBST without active follow-up, or (3) reminders to get tested for HIV at a local clinic ("control" condition) at three month intervals over the course of 12 months. The investigators will explore the impact of the eTEST system on key outcomes, including rates of HIV testing, receipt of additional HIV prevention services, and PrEP initiation, compared with standard HBST or clinic-based testing reminders alone. The investigators will also explore the cost effectiveness of the eTEST system under various scenarios compared with relying on traditional, clinic-based testing alone.

Details
Condition HIV Infections
Treatment Counseling, HIV self-test
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03654690
SponsorBrown University
Last Modified on4 February 2022

Eligibility

Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

report any of the following in the past six months: anal sex without condoms outside of a monogamous partnership with a recently tested, HIV-negative male, having been diagnosed with an STI, or being in an ongoing sexual partnership with an HIV-positive male
not tested for HIV in the last 12 months
have a stable residence in one of the site metros where they can securely receive packages
use an iOS/Android smartphone with a data plan or home wifi
fluent in either English or Spanish

Exclusion Criteria

currently on PrEP
Clear my responses

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