Acceptability and feasibility of a Peer Mentor program to train young Black men who have sex with men to promote HIV and STI home-testing to their social network members.

Karin E Tobin, Catie Edwards, Natalie Flath, Alexandra Lee, Kayla Tormohlen, Charlotte A Gaydos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Young Black men who have sex with men (YBMSM) experience persistently high rates of undiagnosed HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and testing rates remain sub-optimal. Home-based testing (HBT) has been found to be acceptable among MSM and while awareness about HBT is relatively high, uptake has been low. Peer-based approaches have been shown to be effective in reducing HIV risk behavior, yet have not been used to increase utilization of HBT. The purpose of this study was to assess acceptability and feasibility of a program to train YBMSM as Peer Mentors to use and promote HIV and STI home-based testing and specimen collection to their social network members. Fifteen YBMSM ages 18–30 completed in-depth structured interviews and were asked to talk with their social network members about home-based testing. Participants reported acceptability of the Peer Mentor role and two-thirds had conversations with diverse social network members (e.g., male and female, sex partners, friends, family). Facilitators of peer outreach included the novelty of home-based testing, confidence about accuracy of the tests, and resources for linkage to care. Barriers included concerns about negative responses and disclosure of sexual identity/behavior. Results of this study suggest that YBMSM are willing and able to promote HBT to their social networks. This is a promising approach to increasing dissemination of HBT kits for both HIV and STI testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 1 2018

Fingerprint

Mentors
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Social Support
social network
HIV
Specimen Handling
Disclosure
Risk-Taking
risk behavior
Sexual Behavior
conversation
confidence
utilization
Interviews
interview

Keywords

  • Black MSM
  • HIV
  • Home-based testing
  • social network
  • STI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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title = "Acceptability and feasibility of a Peer Mentor program to train young Black men who have sex with men to promote HIV and STI home-testing to their social network members.",
abstract = "Young Black men who have sex with men (YBMSM) experience persistently high rates of undiagnosed HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and testing rates remain sub-optimal. Home-based testing (HBT) has been found to be acceptable among MSM and while awareness about HBT is relatively high, uptake has been low. Peer-based approaches have been shown to be effective in reducing HIV risk behavior, yet have not been used to increase utilization of HBT. The purpose of this study was to assess acceptability and feasibility of a program to train YBMSM as Peer Mentors to use and promote HIV and STI home-based testing and specimen collection to their social network members. Fifteen YBMSM ages 18–30 completed in-depth structured interviews and were asked to talk with their social network members about home-based testing. Participants reported acceptability of the Peer Mentor role and two-thirds had conversations with diverse social network members (e.g., male and female, sex partners, friends, family). Facilitators of peer outreach included the novelty of home-based testing, confidence about accuracy of the tests, and resources for linkage to care. Barriers included concerns about negative responses and disclosure of sexual identity/behavior. Results of this study suggest that YBMSM are willing and able to promote HBT to their social networks. This is a promising approach to increasing dissemination of HBT kits for both HIV and STI testing.",
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AU - Gaydos, Charlotte A

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