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Feasibility of recruiting men who have sex with men and transgender people online to a randomised controlled trial evaluating HIV self-testing: results from the SELPHI pilot


Author
Witzel et al.

Publication year
2018

Country

Type of approach
Community-based

Type of assistance
Unassisted

Specimen
Fingerstick/whole blood

Study population
Key population: Men who have sex with men and transgender women

Study design
Feasibility/acceptability

Sample size
1013

UNAIDS HIV prevalence (2017)

Methodology
SELPHI is an online randomised controlled trial evaluating whether HIV self-testing (HIVST) increases rates of HIV diagnoses. Eligibility includes men who have sex with men and transgender people in England and Wales, 16 years or older, without diagnosed HIV and reporting lifetime anal sex. Individuals, recruited through geo-location hook-up apps and social media, first registered with SELPHI then completed an online survey before being randomised to HIVST or no HIVST study groups. Participant demographic and behavioural characteristics were quantitatively analysed using chi-squared tests, permutation tests for small values, or one-way ANOVA.

Summary of findings
76% (1,013/1,324) of registered individuals were enrolled and randomised. The rate of registration conversion, proportion randomised and the cost per randomisation varied by advertising source, as did the mean age and gender. 99% (n=n/a) self-defined as cisgender, 89% (n=n/a) gay, and 89% (n=n/a) as white. The majority (59%, n=n/a) were highly educated, reported condomless anal intercourse in the preceding 3 months (70%, n=n/a), and had tested for HIV in the preceding 12 months (64%, n=n/a). However, 22% (n=n/a) had not tested in the preceding 12 months and 14% (n=n/a) had never tested. 58% (n=80) who had never tested reported condomless anal intercourse in preceding 3 months. Online recruitment to an RCT delivering HIVST is feasible, though recruiting transgender women was difficult.

Acceptability
n/a

Acceptability details
n/a

Willingness to pay
n/a

Willingness to pay details
n/a

Sensitivity
n/a

Specificity
n/a

Concordance
n/a

HIV positivity
n/a

Accuracy details
n/a

Social harm
n/a

Linkage to prevention, care and treatment
n/a


Study status
Completed