PoCT (point of care) HIV/STI testing at after-hours SOPV (sex on premises venues) theme parties

Mullens, Amy and Driver, Glen and Lemoire, Jime and Daken, Kirstie (2017) PoCT (point of care) HIV/STI testing at after-hours SOPV (sex on premises venues) theme parties. In: 9th IAS conference on HIV science (IAS 2017), 23-26 Jul 2017, Paris, France.

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Background: Sexual ‘theme parties’ have become more popular among MSM (men who have sex with men) over time. They are typically attended by more ‘sexually adventurous’ MSM and associated with alcohol/other drug use. These factors may constitute heightened risks for HIV/STI transmission. Operating a regular, rapid HIV/STI testing service during theme parties (within a high-risk setting), represents a novel approach to health promotion and more accessible testing. This research sought to establish ‘proof of concept’, and evaluate the uptake and feasibility/acceptability of routine HIV/STI testing for MSM in a novel outreach environment.
Method: Weekly HIV/STI PoCT (Alere, UniGold) was offered by trained peer-testers on Friday and Saturday nights from 9pm-midnight, in a private room at the venue. Patrons requesting tests were asked to complete an evaluation survey after testing. Verbal consent was provided and ethics approval was obtained for the evaluation. The testing processes were per TGA guidelines.
Results: To date, 122 MSM have participated in PoCT (majority identified as ‘gay’; average age 36, range: 18-66) over a six month period (indicating 4 reactive syphilis tests; nil reactive HIV); recruited via information within the venue and social media). Salient findings indicate: All (100%) participants reportedly felt comfortable with the community outreach testing; 96% reported peer-led testing would increase the frequency of testing; 20% ‘would not have had a test’ if the service did not exist; and 34% reported to have ‘never had’ an HIV test. Further qualitative comments reflecting acceptability included: accessibility; feeling comfortable; easy and quick testing—conducted by friendly and ‘relatable’ staff members. Secondary analyses regarding socio-demographic features associated with testing patterns, substance use, sexual activity and harm reduction strategies will also be highlighted.
Conclusion: This project has demonstrated acceptability and feasibility within a key MSM sub-group—regarding novel health promotion delivered by a peer-based PLHIV organisation. Implications for further health promotion efforts and future research with sexually adventurous MSM will be discussed in light of main findings. Rapid PoCT technologies foster opportunistic HIV/STI testing uptake amongst MSM in a high-risk setting, and create opportunities for qualitative follow-up; the research will inform the lens through which drug use among gay men and other MSM is contextualised within a sexual context.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2017 01:59
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2019 04:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: HIV; STI testing; SOPV parties
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110309 Infectious Diseases
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Funding Details:
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/33039

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