[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Results of a recent demonstration project evaluating feasibility, acceptability, and cost of a Web-based sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and e-prescription treatment program (eSTI) suggest that this approach could be a feasible alternative to clinic-based testing and treatment, but the results need to be confirmed by a randomized comparative effectiveness trial.
We modeled a decision tree comparing (1) cost of eSTI screening using a home collection kit and an e-prescription for uncomplicated treatment versus (2) hypothetical costs derived from the literature for referral to standard clinic-based STI screening and treatment. Primary outcome was number of STIs detected. Analyses were conducted from the clinical trial perspective and the health care system perspective.
The eSTI strategy detected 75 infections, and the clinic referral strategy detected 45 infections. Total cost of eSTI was $94,938 ($1266/STI detected) from the clinical trial perspective and $96,088 ($1281/STI detected) from the health care system perspective. Total cost of clinic referral was $87,367 ($1941/STI detected) from the clinical trial perspective and $71,668 ($1593/STI detected) from the health care system perspective.
Results indicate that eSTI will likely be more cost-effective (lower cost/STI detected) than clinic-based STI screening, both in the context of clinical trials and in routine clinical care. Although our results are promising, they are based on a demonstration project and estimates from other small studies. A comparative effectiveness research trial is needed to determine actual cost and impact of the eSTI system on identification and treatment of new infections and prevention of their sequelae.
Full-text Article · Jan 2015 · Sexually transmitted diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objectives:
We examined the acceptability, feasibility, and cost of a fully integrated online system (eSTI) for sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, treatment, and linkage to care with 4 Northern California health departments.
In April 2012, we implemented the eSTI system, which provided education; testing of self-collected vaginal swabs for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis; e-prescriptions; e-partner notification; and data integration with clinic electronic health records. We analyzed feasibility, acceptability, and cost measures.
During a 3-month period, 217 women aged 18 to 30 years enrolled; 67% returned the kit. Of these, 92% viewed their results online. STI prevalence was 5.6% (chlamydia and trichomoniasis). All participants with STIs received treatment either the same day at a pharmacy (62%) or within 7 days at a clinic (38%). Among participants completing follow-up surveys, 99% would recommend the online eSTI system to a friend, and 95% preferred it over clinic-based testing within a study.
The fully integrated eSTI system has the potential to increase diagnosis and treatment of STIs with higher patient satisfaction at a potentially lower cost.
Full-text Article · Oct 2014 · American Journal of Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objective: Evaluate a computerized intervention supporting anti-retroviral therapy (ART) adherence and HIV transmission prevention. Design: Longitudinal randomized controlled trial. Settings: An academic HIV clinic and a community-based organization in Seattle. Subjects: In a total of 240 HIV-positive adults on ART, 209 completed 9-month follow-up (87% retention). Intervention: Randomization to computerized counseling or assessment only, 4 sessions over 9 months. Main Outcome Measures: HIV-1 viral suppression, and selfreported ART adherence and transmission risks, compared using generalized estimating equations. Results: Overall, intervention participants had reduced viral load: mean 0.17 log(10) decline, versus 0.13 increase in controls, P = 0.053, and significant difference in ART adherence baseline to 9 months (P = 0.046). Their sexual transmission risk behaviors decreased (odds ratio = 0.55, P = 0.020), a reduction not seen among controls (odds ratio = 1.1, P = 0.664), and a significant difference in change (P = 0.040). Intervention effect was driven by those most in need; among those with detectable virus at baseline (>30 copies/mL, n = 89), intervention effect was mean 0.60 log10 viral load decline versus 0.15 increase in controls, P = 0.034. ART adherence at the final follow-up was 13 points higher among intervention participants versus controls, P = 0.038. Conclusions: Computerized counseling is promising for integrated ART adherence and safer sex, especially for individuals with problems in these areas. This is the first intervention to report improved ART adherence, viral suppression, and reduced secondary sexual transmission risk behavior.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Evaluate a computerized intervention supporting antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence and HIV transmission prevention.
An academic HIV clinic and a community-based organization in Seattle.
240 HIV-positive adults on ART; 209 completed nine-month follow-up (87% retention).
Randomization to computerized counseling or assessment-only, 4 sessions over 9 months.
HIV-1 viral suppression, and self-reported ART adherence, and transmission risks, compared using generalized estimating equations.
Overall, intervention participants had reduced viral load (VL): mean 0.17 log10 decline, versus 0.13 increase in controls, p = 0.053, and significant difference in ART adherence baseline to 9 months (p = 0.046). Their sexual transmission risk behaviors decreased (OR = 0.55, p = 0.020), a reduction not seen among controls (OR = 1.1, p = 0.664), and a significant difference in change (p = 0.040). Intervention effect was driven by those most in need: among those with detectable virus at baseline (>30 copies/milliliter, n=89), intervention effect was mean 0.60 log10 VL decline versus 0.15 increase in controls, p=0.034. ART adherence at the final follow-up was 13 points higher among intervention participants versus controls, p = 0.038.
Computerized counseling is promising for integrated ART adherence and safer sex, especially for individuals with problems in these areas. This is the first intervention to report improved ART adherence, viral suppression, and reduced secondary sexual transmission risk behavior.
Full-text Article · Dec 2013 · JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: HIV testing in emergency departments (EDs) remains underutilized. The authors evaluated a computer tool to facilitate rapid HIV testing in an urban ED. Randomly assigned nonacute adult ED patients were randomly assigned to a computer tool (CARE) and rapid HIV testing before a standard visit (n = 258) or to a standard visit (n = 259) with chart access. The authors assessed intervention acceptability and compared noted HIV risks. Participants were 56% nonWhite and 58% male; median age was 37 years. In the CARE arm, nearly all (251/258) of the patients completed the session and received HIV results; four declined to consent to the test. HIV risks were reported by 54% of users; one participant was confirmed HIV-positive, and two were confirmed false-positive (seroprevalence 0.4%, 95% CI [0.01, 2.2]). Half (55%) of the patients preferred computerized rather than face-to-face counseling for future HIV testing. In the standard arm, one HIV test and two referrals for testing occurred. Computer-facilitated HIV testing appears acceptable to ED patients. Future research should assess cost-effectiveness compared with staff-delivered approaches.
Article · Aug 2013 · AIDS education and prevention: official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Although stigma is considered a major barrier to effective response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, there is a lack of evidence on effective interventions. This media intervention took place among key HIV-vulnerable communities in Southern India. Two HIV stigma videos were created using techniques from traditional film production and new media digital storytelling. A series of 16 focus group discussions were held in 4 rural and 4 urban sites in South India, with specific groups for sex workers, men who have sex with men, young married women, and others. Focus groups with viewers of the traditional film (8 focus groups, 80 participants) and viewers of the new media production (8 focus groups, 69 participants) revealed the mechanisms through which storyline, characters, and esthetics influence viewers' attitudes and beliefs about stigma. A comparative pre-/post-survey showed that audiences of both videos significantly improved their stigma scores. We found that a simple illustrated video, produced on a limited budget by amateurs, and a feature film, produced with an ample budget by professionals, elicited similar responses from audiences and similar positive short-term outcomes on stigma.
Full-text Article · Jul 2013 · Frontiers in Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background Online STI testing and treatment may improve access at lower cost and with higher acceptability than clinic-based services.
Methods We conducted a demonstration (non-significant-risk medical device) study of an online system for STI education, vaginal specimen collection for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and trichomonas testing, treatment, and partner notification, in collaboration with 4 San Francisco Bay area health departments. English and Spanish speaking women (18–30 yr) were recruited over 3 months through various methods.
Results The website had 6,855 hits with a click through rate of 6.6%(450). Of 256 deemed eligible, 85%(217) enrolled. Among these, 54% (117) had not seen a clinician in the past year and 87%(142) had not had an STI test since last unprotected sex. Among those mailed a kit (213), 67% (143) returned the kit. Of these, 80% (115) of participants accessed test results online the same day results were posted, within 2 days (86%, 122) or by study end (92%, 131). STI prevalence was 5.6% (chlamydia and trichomonas). All STI infected participants received treatment either the same day (75%,6/8) at a pharmacy or within 7 days at a clinic (25%, 2/8). Internet recruitment reached the highest number of participants (100/217, 46%), while advertising on subways reached the highest number of positives (5/8, 63%). Of 106 participants completing follow-up surveys, 98% (104) indicated the site was easy to use and 98% (104) would recommend the project to a friend. No negative outcomes were reported. If participating in a future trial, 94% (100) would prefer an online system over clinic-based care.
Conclusions An online system for STI testing and treatment appears feasible, and highly acceptable to participants. We recommend a future comparative effectiveness trial to determine whether an online system can increase testing and treatment of STI infections at lower cost and with higher acceptability than clinic-based care.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Providers in emergency care settings (ECSs) often face barriers to expanded HIV testing. We undertook formative research to understand the potential utility of a computer tool, "CARE," to facilitate rapid HIV testing in ECSs. Computer tool usability and acceptability were assessed among 35 adult patients, and provider focus groups were held, in two ECSs in Washington State and Maryland. The computer tool was usable by patients of varying computer literacy. Patients appreciated the tool's privacy and lack of judgment and their ability to reflect on HIV risks and create risk reduction plans. Staff voiced concerns regarding ECS-based HIV testing generally, including resources for follow-up of newly diagnosed people. Computer-delivered HIV testing support was acceptable and usable among low-literacy populations in two ECSs. Such tools may help circumvent some practical barriers associated with routine HIV testing in busy settings though linkages to care will still be needed.
Article · Jun 2011 · AIDS education and prevention: official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: This article highlights findings from an evaluation that explored the impact of mobile versus clinic-based testing, rapid versus central-lab based testing, incentives for testing, and the use of a computer counseling program to guide counseling and automate evaluation in a mobile program reaching people of color at risk for HIV. The program's results show that an increased focus on mobile outreach using rapid testing, incentives and health information technology tools may improve program acceptability, quality, productivity and timeliness of reports. This article describes program design decisions based on continuous quality assessment efforts. It also examines the impact of the Computer Assessment and Risk Reduction Education computer tool on HIV testing rates, staff perception of counseling quality, program productivity, and on the timeliness of evaluation reports. The article concludes with a discussion of implications for programmatic responses to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's HIV testing recommendations.
Article · Jun 2011 · AIDS education and prevention: official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Adherence problems with coitally dependent, female-initiated HIV prevention methods have contributed to several trials' failure to establish efficacy. Continuous use of a cervical barrier with once-daily cleaning and immediate reinsertion may simplify use for women and improve adherence. We assessed the acceptability and safety of precoital and continuous use of the Duet, a cervical barrier and gel delivery system, in Zimbabwean women.
Using a two-arm crossover design with a parallel observation group, we randomized 103 women in a 2:2:1 ratio: (1) to use the Duet continuously for 14 days, followed by a minimum of seven days of washout and then 14 days of precoital use; (2) to use the same Duet regimens in reverse order; or (3) for observation only. Women were aged 18 to 40 years; half were recruited from a pool of previous diaphragm study participants and the other half from the general community. Acceptability and adherence were assessed through an interviewer-administered questionnaire at each of two follow-up visits. Safety was monitored through pelvic speculum exams and report of adverse events.
The proportion of women who reported consistent Duet use during sex was virtually identical during continuous and precoital regimens (88.6% vs. 88.9%). Partner refusal was the most common reason cited for non-use during sex in both use regimens. Not having the device handy was the most common reason cited for non-daily use (in the continuous regimen). Most women were "very comfortable" using it continuously (86.3%) and inserting it precoitally (92.8%). The most favoured Duet attribute was that it did not interfere with "natural" sex (55%). The least favoured Duet attribute was the concern that it might come out during sex (71.3%). No serious adverse events were reported during the study; 57 participants reported 90 adverse events classified as mild or moderate. There were no statistically significant differences in: (1) the proportion of women reporting adverse events; (2) the severity of events among those using the Duet and observational controls; or (3) event severity reported during each regimen use period.
In this study, the Duet was found to be acceptable and safe when inserted precoitally or used continuously for 14 days. Assignment to use of the Duet continuously did not increase adherence to the Duet during sex. Future HIV prevention trials should evaluate use of the Duet (precoitally and continuously) with promising microbicide candidates.
Full-text Article · Aug 2010 · Journal of the International AIDS Society
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: We compared multiple-choice and open-ended responses collected from a web-based tool designated 'Case for Change', which had been developed for assessing and teaching medical students in the skills involved in integrating sexual risk assessment and behaviour change discussions into patient-centred primary care visits.
A total of 111 Year 3 students completed the web-based tool. A series of videos from one patient encounter illustrated how a clinician uses patient-centred communication and health behaviour change skills while caring for a patient presenting with a urinary tract infection. Each video clip was followed by a request for students to respond in two ways to the question: 'What would you do next?' Firstly, students typed their statements of what they would say to the patient. Secondly, students selected from a multiple-choice list the statements that most closely resembled their free text entries. These two modes of students' answers were analysed and compared.
When articulating what they would say to the patient in a narrative format, students frequently used doctor-centred approaches that focused on premature diagnostic questioning or neglected to elicit patient perspectives. Despite the instruction to select a matching statement from the multiple-choice list, students tended to choose the most exemplary patient-centred statement, which was contrary to the doctor-centred approaches reflected in their narrative responses.
Open-ended questions facilitate in-depth understanding of students' educational needs, although the scoring of narrative responses is time-consuming. Multiple-choice questions allow efficient scoring and individualised feedback associated with question items but do not fully elicit students' thought processes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: We studied the HIV risk behaviors of patrons of the 3 commercial sex venues for men in Seattle, Washington.
We conducted cross-sectional, observational surveys in 2004 and 2006 by use of time-venue cluster sampling with probability proportional to size. Surveys were anonymous and self-reported. We analyzed the 2004 data to identify patron characteristics and predictors of risk behaviors and compared the 2 survey populations.
Fourteen percent of respondents reported a previous HIV-positive test, 14% reported unprotected anal intercourse, and 9% reported unprotected anal intercourse with a partner of unknown or discordant HIV status during the current commercial sex venue visit. By logistic regression, recent unprotected anal intercourse outside of a commercial sex venue was independently associated with unprotected anal intercourse. Sex venue site and patron drug use were strongly associated with unprotected anal intercourse at the crude level. The 2004 and 2006 survey populations did not differ significantly in demographics or behaviors.
Patron and venue-specific characteristics factors may each influence the frequency of HIV risk behaviors in commercial sex venues. Future research should evaluate the effect of structural and individual-level interventions on HIV transmission.
Full-text Article · Mar 2009 · American Journal of Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Early diagnosis of persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through diagnostic testing and screening is a critical priority for individual and public health. Emergency departments (EDs) have an important role in this effort. As EDs gain experience in HIV testing, it is increasingly apparent that implementing testing is conceptually and operationally complex. A wide variety of HIV testing practice and research models have emerged, each reflecting adaptations to site-specific factors and the needs of local populations. The diversity and complexity inherent in nascent ED HIV testing practice and research are associated with the risk that findings will not be described according to a common lexicon. This article presents a comprehensive set of terms and definitions that can be used to describe ED-based HIV testing programs, developed by consensus opinion from the inaugural meeting of the National ED HIV Testing Consortium. These definitions are designed to facilitate discussion, increase comparability of future reports, and potentially accelerate wider implementation of ED HIV testing.
Full-text Article · Jan 2009 · Academic Emergency Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The efficacy of behavioral HIV prevention interventions has been convincingly demonstrated in a large number of randomized controlled phase 3 research outcome trials. Little research attention has been directed toward studying the effectiveness of the same interventions when delivered by providers to their own clients or community members, however. This article argues for the need to conduct phase 4 effectiveness trials of HIV prevention interventions that have been found efficacious in the research arena. Such trials can provide important information concerning the impact of interventions when applied in heterogeneous "real-world" circumstances. This article raises design issues and methodologic questions that need to be addressed in the conduct of phase 4 trials of behavioral interventions. These issues include the selection and training of service providers engaged in such trials, maintenance of fidelity to intervention protocol in provider-delivered interventions, determination of intervention core elements versus aspects that require tailoring, selection of relevant phase 4 study outcomes, interpretation of findings indicative of field effectiveness, sustainability, and other aspects of phase 4 trial design.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Previous research links high rates of unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with men who go to bathhouses; however, the literature provides no prevalence estimates. An exit survey of a probability sample was conducted to describe the prevalence of risk activity at the bathhouse.
Data are from a 2-stage probability sample of men exiting a gay bathhouse (n = 400).
During their visit, 91.5% of men had oral sex and 44.2% had anal sex (11.1% reported UAI and 5.5% reported unprotected receptive anal intercourse). In the prior 3 months, 85% reported having anal sex, which was more likely to be unprotected when it occurred in a private home or hotel as opposed to a public setting (P < 0.001). Moreover, having UAI at home was a significant correlate of risk during the bathhouse visit (P < 0.001).
Most men at the bathhouse engaged in oral sex rather than anal sex, and most anal sex included use of condoms. Furthermore, men were more likely to have UAI in a private home than in any public setting. The bathhouse seems to have facilitated condom use when anal sex occurred on-site.
Article · Jun 2007 · JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: To explore use of an interactive health communication tool--"Computer Assessment and Risk Reduction Education (CARE) for STIs/HIV."
This was a mixed method study utilizing participant observation and in-depth interviews with patients (n = 43), and focus groups with staff (5 focus groups, n = 41) from 5 clinics in 3 states (1 Planned Parenthood, 1 Teen, 2 STD, and 1 mobile van clinic). Data were managed using Atlas.ti. Inter-rater reliability of qualitative coding was .90.
Users were 58% nonwhite with mean age 24.7 years (74% < 25). Patients could use CARE with minimal to no assistance. Time for session completion averaged 29.6 minutes. CARE usefulness was rated an average of 8.2 on an ascending utility scale of 0 to 10. Patient themes raised as strengths were novelty, simplicity, confidentiality, personalization, and plan development, increased willingness to be honest, lack of judgment, and a unique opportunity for self-evaluation. Staff themes raised as strengths were enhanced data collection, handout customization, education standardization, behavioral priming, and expansion of services. Patient limitation themes included limited responses and lack of personal touch. Staff limitation themes were selecting users, cost, patient-provider role, privacy, and time for use.
CARE was well-received and easily usable by most (especially 18-25-year-olds). Patient and staff perceptions support the use of CARE as an adjunct to usual practice and as a method to expand services. Honesty, reduced time constraints, and lack of judgment associated with CARE appeared to enhance self-evaluation, which may prove an important component in moving patients forward in the behavior change process.
Full-text Article · Jun 2007 · Journal of Adolescent Health