Objectives We sought to determine willingness of gay and bisexual men (GBM) to give HIV self-testing (HIVST) kits with patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT) and engage in geosocial sexual networking (GSN) app-based partner notification.
Methods A nationwide sample of GBM who self-tested HIV negative (n=786) were asked about their willingness to give recent sex partners (main and casual) PDPT with an HIVST kit (PDPT+HIVST) after hypothetical bacterial STI (BSTI) diagnosis. Men were also asked about their willingness to notify sexual partners met on GSN apps using an anonymous app function after BSTI diagnosis. We examined associations of relationship status and condomless anal sex with casual partners, recent BSTI diagnosis and perceived risk of HIV on PDPT+HIVST and anonymous app-based partner notification willingness (dichotomised) using binary logistic regressions, adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, education and US region. From the partner’s perspective after receiving an app-based referral, frequency measures were used to report intentions for obtaining subsequent HIV/BSTI counselling and testing, engaging in HIVST if provided a free voucher, and obtaining BSTI treatment from a pharmacy with prescription voucher.
Results Most (90.1%) were willing to give PDPT+HIVST to recent sex partners after STI diagnosis, and nearly all (96.4%) were willing to notify sex partners met online using an anonymous function within GSN apps. Regardless of casual partner condomless anal sex engagement, partnered GBM had higher odds of reporting willingness to give PDPT+HIVST compared with single men who recently engaged in condomless anal sex with a casual partner. If anonymously notified via an app, 92.5% reported they would likely obtain counselling and testing, 92.8% would engage in HIVST if provided a free voucher, and 93.4% would obtain treatment from a pharmacy with prescription voucher.
Conclusions GBM generally found novel partner notification, testing, and treatment strategies acceptable, indicating the need for feasibility and cost-effectiveness evaluations.
- sexually transmitted infections
- partner notification
- patient-delivered partner therapy
- geosocial sexual networking
- expedited partner therapy
- men who have sex with men
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Handling editor Jackie A Cassell
Contributors SAJ was responsible for manuscript conceptualisation, data analysis, data interpretation, literature search, and manuscript writing. JTP, CG and HJR were the principal investigators (PI) of the parent study. The PIs’ roles included conceptualising the study design, measures development, participant recruitment, data management, day-to-day operations, and oversight of all scientific decisions. CG, TJS, HJR, and JTP provided feedback on data analysis, result interpretation, and manuscript revisions. All authors provided intellectual content to the manuscript and approved the final manuscript.
Funding Funding support was provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01-DA036466, PIs: JTP, CG and HJR; K01-DA039030, PI: HJR) and the National Institute of Mental Health (P30-MH052776, PI: Kelly).
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval Study procedures were approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the City University of New York (IRB protocol number 354377-3).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.