An Online Intervention Promoting HIV Testing Service Utilization Among Chinese men who have sex with men During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A quasi-experimental Study

Zixin Wang (Corresponding Author), Paul Shing fong Chan, Meiqi Xin, Yuan Fang, Andrew Chidgey, Fuk yuen Yu, Mary Ip, Siyu Chen, Phoenix K.H. Mo (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic created disruptions in HIV testing service utilization among men who have sex with men (MSM). The present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an online health promotion program implemented by a community-based organization (CBO) in increasing the uptake of any type of HIV testing and home-based HIV self-testing (HIVST) over a six-month follow-up period. Participants of an observational prospective cohort study conducted during the same period served as the comparison group. This study was conducted between September 2020 and December 2021. Participants were Chinese-speaking adult MSM who were HIV-negative/unknown sero-status recruited through multiple sources in Hong Kong, China. Participants in the intervention group were exposed to the following health promotion components: (1) viewing an online video promoting HIVST, (2) visiting the project webpage, and (3) having access to a chargeable HIVST service implemented by the CBO. Among 400 and 412 participants in the intervention group and the comparison group, 349 (87.3%) and 298 (72.3%) completed follow-up evaluation at Month 6. Multiple imputation was used to replace missing values. At Month 6, participants in the intervention group reported significantly higher uptake of any type of HIV testing (57.0% versus 49.0%, adjusted odds ratios [AOR]: 1.43, p =.03) and HIVST (25.8% versus 14.8%, AOR: 2.04, p =.001), as compared to those in the comparison group. Process evaluation of the health promotion components for the intervention group was positive. Promoting HIVST is a potentially useful strategy to increase HIV testing service utilization among Chinese MSM during the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAIDS and Behavior
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • health promotion
  • home-based HIV self-testing
  • men who have sex with men
  • quasi-experimental study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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