Background/introduction To encourage HIV testing amongst men who have sex with men (MSM) during “National HIV testing week” (NHTW) point of care testing (POCT) was offered at community and hospital-based sexual health services (SHS). Users of the social networking application “Grindr” within 5 miles of our clinics received a link to our website, which was upgraded to include a video demonstrating HIV POCT. Traditional health promotion poster campaign was also employed.
Aim(s)/objectives To review advertising strategies used and clients who requested POCT during NHTW.
Methods Activity data was obtained from the software company and electronic records of those attending for POCT were reviewed.
Results 43 asymptomatic attendees requested POCT testing, 35 male and 8 female. 21 males identified as MSM (60%), 15 (71%) disclosed that they had attended as a result of the “Grindr” advertisement. The average MSM number of daily visits to the website increased from 250 to 600/ day, highest at weekends the majority via “Grindr”. POCT video was viewed 126 times during testing week. 30 (70%) patients accepted a sexual health screen, 3 asymptomatic infections were diagnosed. No HIV diagnoses were made.
Discussion/conclusion Social networking proved popular amongst MSM. No HIV diagnoses were made however screening increased HIV testing and identified sexual infections in asymptomatic individuals (all signposted via “Grindr”). Current work includes using “Grindr” to signpost users to our service, implementing online booking and expanding the use of POCT at community SHS. Clinics should consider using social media and geolocation-based apps in addition to traditional health promotion.
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