Acceptability and HIV Prevention Benefits of a Peer-Based Model of Rapid Point of Care HIV Testing for Australian Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men
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Â© 2017, The Author(s). Frequent HIV testing among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBM) is a strategic priority for HIV prevention in Australia. To overcome barriers to testing in conventional clinical services, Australia recently introduced peer HIV rapid point of care (RPOC) testing services for GBM. This mixed methods evaluation describes client acceptability and HIV prevention benefits of a peer HIV testing model. Most aspects of the service model were overwhelmingly acceptable to clients. Two-thirds of survey participants reported preferring testing with peers rather than doctors or nurses and over half reported learning something new about reducing HIV risk. Focus group findings suggested peer-delivered HIV RPOC testing reduced stigma-related barriers to frequent testing and provided novel opportunities for GBM to openly discuss HIV prevention and sexual practices, enhancing their HIV risk-reduction knowledge. Analysis of survey data suggested knowledge transfer occurred particularly among younger and less gay community-attached GBM.
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