Internet-using men who have sex with men would be interested in accessing authorised HIV self-tests available for purchase online

AIDS Care. 2013;25(1):49-54. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2012.687823. Epub 2012 Jun 7.

Abstract

Men who have sex with men (MSM) recruited in sex venues have been shown to be interested in accessing HIV home-tests if reliable and authorised tests were available. To what extent is this true for MSM recruited online? In an online survey in French on the use of unauthorised HIV home-tests purchased online, MSM previously unaware of the existence of these tests were asked if they would be interested in accessing them if these tests were authorised. Among 5908 non-HIV positive respondents, 86.5% expressed interest. Independent variables associated with interest included: being younger, living in smaller towns, having a job but not tertiary education and living in a conventional family with one's parents or a wife and family. Interested men were also more likely to have never done the standard HIV test or not in the last year, to have casual sex partners but on average not more than once a week, to take sexual risks with these partners, to live their sex-lives with men in absolute secrecy and yet often to try to make a date to see their sex partners again. Of the 5109 respondents interested in accessing self-tests purchasable online, 4362 (85.4%) answered an open question on their reasons for being interested. Using thematic analysis, principle themes identified proved to be similar to those found in earlier studies with MSM recruited in sex venues: convenience, rapidity accessing results and privacy. In answer to a closed question, men not interested chose as reasons: satisfaction with current method, doubts about reliability, not wanting to be alone when discovering results and fear of incorrect use. In conclusion, although the online questionnaire may have introduced selection bias over-representing men already interested, many Internet-using MSM are interested in accessing self-tests available for purchase online.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • France
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Surveys
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Risk-Taking
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Substances

  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic