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Attitude and Behavior Changes Among Gay and Bisexual Men After Use of Rapid Home HIV Tests to Screen Sexual Partners


HIV testing can now be self-administered outside clinical settings through the purchase of home testing (HT) kits. Individuals also can use the kits to perform a test on a potential sexual partner prior to intercourse. We provided a 3-month supply of HT kits to men who reported multiple male partners and little or no condom use for anal intercourse. Participants used the test kits with partners in over 100 occasions. At the end of the study, approximately half of the participants described shifts in their attitudes and/or behaviors related to sexual risk. Reported changes included increased awareness of risk, increased discussion of STI/HIV safety measures, changes in partner choice and heightened consciousness of partner thinking. Easy access to HT kits may be a risk-reduction strategy for men with a high risk profile because their regular use could have an impact beyond the specific sexual encounter.


Actualmente, las personas pueden comprar libremente la prueba para el VIH y auto-administrársela fuera del ámbito clínico. Asimismo, pueden ofrecer la prueba a una pareja potencial antes de tener relaciones sexuales. En un estudio, hombres que declararon tener múltiples parejas masculinas y escaso uso de condones para el coito anal, recibieron una cantidad de kits durante tres meses. Los kits fueron utilizados con parejas en más de 100 ocasiones. Al final del estudio, aproximadamente la mitad de los participantes describieron cambios en sus actitudes y/o conductas relacionadas al riesgo sexual. Los cambios relatados incluyeron: mayor conciencia del riesgo, discusiones más frecuentes de medidas de seguridad para evitar infecciones, alteraciones en el tipo de pareja buscada y mayor conciencia de los pensamientos de las parejas. Facilitar el acceso a las pruebas para el VIH puede ser una estrategia preventiva prometedora para hombres con un perfil de riesgo alto, ya que su uso regular puede tener un impacto más allá del encuentro sexual específico.

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This research was supported by a Grant from NIMH (R01 MH79692) to Alex Carballo-Diéguez, PhD, Principal Investigator. Additional support came from the National Institute of Mental Health to the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at NY State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University (P30-MH43520; Principal Investigator: Anke A. Ehrhardt, PhD). The authors acknowledge the support received from Dr. Ana Ventuneac in early stages of this project and are grateful to participants who volunteered their time and candidly expressed their opinions on very intimate topics.

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Correspondence to Timothy Frasca.

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Frasca, T., Balan, I., Ibitoye, M. et al. Attitude and Behavior Changes Among Gay and Bisexual Men After Use of Rapid Home HIV Tests to Screen Sexual Partners. AIDS Behav 18, 950–957 (2014).

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  • HIV
  • Rapid testing
  • Home testing
  • MSM
  • Gay men
  • Harm reduction