Background/introduction PHE recommends high risk MSM test 3 monthly. We introduced recall of high-risk MSM for HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing by short message service (SMS).
Aim(s)/objectives To assess effectiveness of SMS recall by re-screening rate and number of incident STIs.
Methods From January 2014, MSM who reported condomless anal intercourse with a non-regular partner in the last 3 months were offered an SMS 3 months later inviting them to rescreen. We compared the testing rate of the first 100 eligible MSM in the 12 weeks following SMS with a historical control group of 100 MSM who attended in January 2013. Proportions were compared using a two-tailed Z-test.
Results Median age was 30 y (IQR: 26–36 y) for SMS group and 29y (IQR: 25–35 y) in controls. 44% of SMS group retested compared with 19% of controls (p < 0.001). 32% of SMS group were diagnosed with an STI at retest (14/44; SMS) vs. 16% (3/19; control). HIV was diagnosed in 2 of SMS group and 1 in control group at retest.
Discussion/conclusion Active SMS recall for MSM is associated with a statistically significantly higher retesting rate. The high proportion of MSM with STIs at re-screening reinforces the importance of active recall, especially using SMS reminders which are cheap and easy to facilitate.
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