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Health services and policy oral session 1—Innovation technology
O5-S1.02 Acceptability of in SPOT and patient-delivered partner therapy among men who have sex with men seeking medical care
  1. R Kerani1,
  2. F Mark2,
  3. M Golden3
  1. 1Public Health, Seattle & King County, Seattle, USA
  2. 2Public Health, Seattle and King County, USA
  3. 3University of Washington, USA

Abstract

Background Patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT) and internet partner notification (PN) sites (eg, inSPOT) are being adopted in some areas to improve PN outcomes. Neither intervention has been well-studied in men who have sex with men (MSM). We evaluated the acceptability and potential efficacy of these PN strategies among MSM.

Methods We anonymously surveyed MSM seen in an STD clinic and a private medical practice in Seattle, WA, USA. The survey presented respondents with three scenarios in which they had oral or anal sex with a new partner and were then notified and offered PDPT. A fourth scenario described PN via an inSPOT ecard.

Results MSM completed 198 surveys. A total of 115 (58%) men reported ever being diagnosed with a bacterial STD, 100 (50%) had previously been notified by a partner of an STD exposure, and 27 (14%) reported being HIV positive. The percentage of men who indicated that they would seek medical care was higher when scenarios indicated that the respondent had symptoms of proctitis (97%–98%) than when they were asymptomatic (83%–89%) or had symptoms of pharyngitis (84%). Only 123 (62%) men said they would seek medical care if notified via an anonymous inSPOT ecard and were asymptomatic, though this rose to 98% when the question indicated that the respondent had rectal symptoms. Men were somewhat more likely to report that they would take medication given to them as PDPT if they had symptoms than if they were asymptomatic (52%–57% vs 48%–49%). The proportion of MSM who would seek medical care if asymptomatic was lower among men who said they would take PDPT (74%–84%) than among men who indicated that they would not (92%–94%, p<0.06); this pattern was not observed when questions described rectal symptoms. When asked directly if they would use inSPOT to notify partners if they had an STD, 56% said they would. However, when given multiple options and asked how they would prefer to notify partners, only 38% chose an ecard. MSM were less likely to report that they would seek a medical evaluation if notified via an anonymous ecard than via email or a signed ecard (75% vs 94%–95%).

Conclusions These results suggest that substantial numbers of MSM are interested in using PDPT and internet partner notification sites. However, they also support concerns that PDPT may decrease recipient's likelihood of testing for HIV and syphilis, and that anonymous ecards may be less effective in prompting partners to seek medical care than other forms of PN.

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