Introduction In light of moves towards online provision of HIV services, e.g. self-testing, or online self-sampling, the GMI Partnership wanted to understand whether there was a way in which community based organisations could support and incorporate trends towards online provision of services, as well as understand the knowledge of at risk communities in light of changes, through the provision of community coaching on self-testing and self-sampling. The GMI Partnership provides sexual health promotion and HIV prevention services to 76,000 high risk MSM across London each year, as well as in-depth interviews with at least 4,000 MSM each year.
Methods 2888 online surveys identified existing literacy re- HIV self-testing and self-sampling in MSM (targeted via dating apps.) Recognising that literacy was limited, GMI provided community coaching on self-testing with MSM in high risk venues, to identify whether the intervention was more likely to engender comfort with new technologies (200 quantitative interviews).
Results HIV literate MSM do not understand the difference between self-testing and self-sampling.
The community coaching model ensures high levels of confidence and acceptability in self-testing technologies.
Discussion Community testing models can complement self-testing and self-sampling.
There will always be clients for whom online provision of new technologies will not work.
Scalability of the model within African groups (community based intervention).
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