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Providing HIV results via SMS one day after testing: more popular than rapid point-of-care tests

Providing HIV results via SMS one day after testing: more popular than rapid point-of-care tests

Uptake of HIV testing may increase with convenience and speed of receiving results. We determined the popularity of receiving HIV test results by SMS and compared this with rapid HIV point-of-care testing (POCT).

From October 2011, North Shore Sexual Health Service (NSSHS) has offered rapid HIV POCT to men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM). From December 2012, NSSHS has offered the option of receiving traditional HIV serology results (if negative) by SMS to mobile phone one business day after venipuncture.

Clinicians determined if MSM needed to return in person for a result. Otherwise, after discussing the options with their clinician, MSM were able to choose between having a POCT, receiving their result by phone 5-7 days after venipuncture, or sent by SMS to their mobile phone. We evaluated patient satisfaction with the SMS method by follow- up phone survey.

From December 2012 to May 2013, 271 HIV tests were performed in 234 MSM. Of these tests, 4.7% were POCT, 7.3% were received in person, 21% by phone, and 61% were sent by SMS. SMS was sent by the next business day in 96% of those electing the SMS method. Opinions about receiving HIV results by SMS were: 94% satisfied, 85% would choose this method for the next test, and 91% were satisfied with the privacy of SMS. Of 48 MSM who had previously had a POCT, 35 elected a result by SMS. Feedback from clinicians indicated that MSM valued the better performance of traditional HIV serology, and a longer visit time hindered the popularity of POCT.

The majority of our MSM patients elected HIV test result by SMS compared with phone or POCT, were satisfied with this method and would choose it again for future testing. Our patients appeared to value the better accuracy of traditional HIV serology over POCT.

Speakers: Stephen Davies
Conference: ASHM 2013
Areas of Interest / Categories: AIDS 2013, HIV, Homosexuality

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