2:25 - 2:45 pmSaturday, September 28
LK 120
Social networking technologies for HIV prevention
LK 120
Social networking technologies for HIV prevention
Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, UCLA
Background Social networking technologies are newly emerging tools that can be used for HIV prevention.ObjectiveDetermine whether social networking communities can be created to increase HIV testing among African American and Latino men... Read more

Description

Background

Social networking technologies are newly emerging tools that can be used for HIV prevention.ObjectiveDetermine whether social networking communities can be created to increase HIV testing among African American and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM).

Design: Randomized controlled trial with concealed allocation. Patients: Los Angeles-based MSM (N = 112; > 85% African American and Latino).

Intervention

Sixteen peer leaders were randomly assigned to deliver either HIV or general health information to participants via Facebook groups over 12 weeks. After accepting a request to join the group, continued participation was voluntary. Group participation/engagement was monitored. Participants could request a free home-based HIV testing kit and completed questionnaires at baseline and 12-week follow-up.

Measurements

Participant intervention acceptance/engagement and social network participation; rates of home-based HIV testing; sexual risk behaviors.

Results

Almost 95% of intervention participants and 73% of control participants voluntarily communicated using the social platform. Compared to control group participants, HIV intervention group participants had higher rates of home-based HIV testing kit requests (25 of 57, 44% intervention; 11 of 55, 20% control; difference 24%, 95% CI 8% to 41%). Results suggest improved likelihood of taking and mailing the test to receive results (intervention: 9 of 57; control: 2 of 55). Retention at study follow-up was over 93%.

Conclusions

Social networking communities were found to be acceptable and effective behavior change tools to increase home-based HIV testing among at-risk populations.

Sean Young, PhD, MS is an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at UCLA. His work focuses on health behavior change and patient engagement— on the design and evaluation of mobile technology interventions for community and global health. He has published a number of studies in top academic journals on this work suggesting how social networking communities and social media can be used to predict and change health behaviors in the United States and international settings. His clinical work for the Department of Family Medicine is focused on developing technologies to increase patient engagement and improve health outcomes. Dr. Young received his PhD in Psychology from Stanford University.

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