BBetween sessions I had an opportunity to view some posters highlighting excellent research from around the world. I was happy to see some findings from PrEPX in Victoria:
Sexually transmissible infections as HIV risk markers at baseline in PrEPX, a large Australian PrEP trial – An analysis of formal eligibility criteria; Dr Vincent Cornelisse (Prahan Market Clinic, Melbourne) concluded that participants who were enrolled despite not meeting eligibility criteria still had substantial prevalence of STI’s (7.1%) which suggests that someone requesting PrEP is likely to be at considerable risk of HIV, even if they do not meet the eligibility criteria.
Comparison between HIV risk reported by clinicians and HIV risk reported by participants at enrolment in PrEPX, a large Australian HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis study; a finding of this analysis showed that patients may over-report CLAI with HIV + receptive sexual partners to their PrEP providing clinicians, but under-report methamphetamine use and CLAI with casual partners.
There were 2 interesting posters on smartphone app use to reach target populations. This research builds on what we learned earlier in the day’s plenary sessions about utilising low cost technologies where possible in resource poor environments:
Understanding the Impact of Smartphone Applications on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and HIV prevention among Men who Have Sex with Men (MSM) in the EU/EEA, highlighted that smartphone apps are currently under-utilised and that realising their potential requires support, engagement, and coordination from EU stakeholders and engagement with the private sector.
Harnessing the Power of Smartphone Dating Apps and Online Tools to Increase MSM testing in Europe and Central Asia through a Community, Business and Public Health Partnership, described a partnership between 3 smartphone apps (Hornet, Grindr and PlanetRomeo), the ECDC and European HIV/Hepatitis Testing Week where the apps provided free advertising to promote a site with information about testing sites across Europe and Central Asia (European Test Finder). The app pushed out information to millions of users in 40 local languages in 53 countries resulting in 65,614 hits. This demonstrates the power of partnerships between public health and private sector business in improving access to education about testing for HIV.