DIY Sampling Kits Accessed Through Gay Men’s Social Media Unearth New HIV Cases

DIY Sampling Kits Accessed Through Gay Men’s Social Media Unearth New HIV Cases

Offering DIY sampling kits for HIV using online dating apps and social media targeting gay men, successfully unearths previously undiagnosed cases of the infection, reveals an evaluation of the first large-scale dedicated service in the UK, published online in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Furthermore, this approach catches most men before their infection has reached an advanced stage, so making it easier and potentially cheaper to treat effectively.

In 2013 Public Health England (PHE) reported that, in London alone, an estimated one in eight gay men is living with HIV, but 16% of them don’t know they are infected.

Inconvenience, time pressures, lack of guaranteed anonymity, perceived stigma from healthcare professionals and unwanted counselling may deter many at-risk gay men from getting tested for HIV.

According to PHE, almost a third of those diagnosed with HIV in 2013 were at an advanced stage, when it is more difficult and expensive to keep the infection and its consequences in check.

In a bid to boost HIV testing rates, particularly among those considered hard to reach, the Dean Street sexual health clinic in central London launched a DIY home sampling kit ([email protected]) for gay men at the end of 2011.

The DIY kit was accessed online through social media that gay men might use to hook up with sexual partners, including Gaydar, Grindr, Recon, and the Facebook pages of gay magazines… Read More>>

Source: Medical Xpress

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