The outcomes of a randomized medical trial of over 2,600 folks prone to contracting HIV present that exposing folks to self-test adverts on-line and offering them with free self-testing kits drastically improves their possibilities of getting examined and will forestall HIV transmission.
Share on PinterestOffering free HIV self-tests might considerably forestall HIV transmission.
Between 2006 and 2013, the speed of latest HIV diagnoses had decreased by virtually a 3rd in america as a result of success of antiretroviral remedy and public consciousness campaigns.
Nonetheless, since 2013, the variety of reported new infections has stayed roughly the identical, reasonably than lowering. The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 1.1 million folks within the U.S. are presently residing with HIV.
Constant antiretroviral remedy can cease the transmission of HIV altogether. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless doable to cross the virus on if individuals are unaware that they’re HIV-positive or aren’t receiving efficient remedy.
So, what will be carried out to slash the chance of HIV transmission? New analysis examines the impact of sending out free HIV self-tests in a inhabitants of males who recurrently have intercourse with males.
Robin MacGowan, MPH, from CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention in Atlanta, GA, is the lead writer of the brand new research, which seems in JAMA Inside Medication.
Conducting a randomized medical trial
MacGowan and group examined the results of Web-delivered free HIV self-test kits on the “frequency of testing, diagnoses of HIV an infection, and sexual threat behaviors” on this at-risk inhabitants pattern.
Because the authors point out of their paper, over two-thirds of individuals within the U.S. newly identified with HIV are homosexual males, bisexual males, and different males who’ve intercourse with males. What’s extra, 1 in 6 folks on this group is unaware that they’ve the virus.
The research was a longitudinal, randomized medical trial that stretched over 12 months and consisted of two teams, summing up 2,665 contributors.
Total, the recruited contributors had been U.S. residents who had been at the least 18 years previous and who reported having had intercourse with males previously 12 months.
The researchers divided these contributors right into a management group and an intervention self-testing group. The researchers uncovered the intervention contributors to HIV self-testing ads by putting them on social media, music, and relationship web sites which are fashionable amongst males who’ve intercourse with males.
Those that clicked on the adverts went to the research web site, which screened the contributors and requested eligible ones to fill in a single baseline survey and 4 follow-up ones. Different necessities included giving a blood pattern and reporting the outcomes of the HIV self-test after the 12 months.
The impression of free self-tests
The outcomes revealed that individuals within the intervention group examined considerably greater than folks within the management group.
The truth is, 76.6% of the contributors within the intervention group reported testing for HIV three or extra instances throughout the trial, in contrast with solely 22% within the management group.
The intervention group additionally had extra circumstances of newly-discovered HIV infections. Moreover, the social media “associates” of individuals within the self-testing group had 34 newly recognized circumstances of HIV an infection amongst them. MacGowan and colleagues conclude:
“Distribution of HIV self-tests offers a worthwhile mechanism to extend consciousness of HIV an infection and stop transmission amongst [men who have sex with men].”
In a linked editorial, Drs. Julia M. Janssen and Mitchell H. Katz, from the Division of Medication on the College of California, San Francisco, and the New York Metropolis Well being and Hospitals, respectively, touch upon the research’s findings.
They are saying, “The research demonstrated that self-testing facilitates HIV testing in a high-risk inhabitants when assessments are free and handy; distribution of self-testing kits to social contacts by way of social networks present one other avenue for making testing extra accessible and acceptable.”
Preexposure prophylaxis and first care
In the identical difficulty, JAMA Inside Medication has additionally printed a “Particular Communication,” which highlights the essential function of “preexposure prophylaxis” in stopping HIV an infection.
“Preexposure prophylaxis” refers to remedy that at-risk folks can take as soon as day by day to decrease their possibilities of buying the virus.
Major care physicians “will have to be on the middle of any profitable effort to leverage the facility of, and destigmatize [preexposure prophylaxis] to finish the HIV epidemic,” write Drs. Joshua Khalili and Raphael J. Landovitz, the authors of the particular communication.