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Jessica Horan is a currently a graduate student at the Ohio State University pursing her Masters in Public Health. She is an Albert Schweitzer fellow, as well as an intern at Equitas Health. Her main areas of concentration are HIV prevention and transgender and MSM inequalities.
Presentation: Virtual HIV Testing: Using Technology to Reach High Risk Individuals
Time: Breakout Session 3
This session will describe a new project to provide virtual counseling via the use of modern technology during at-home testing. We expect this innovative experimental design will better allow us to target hard-to-reach individuals at high risk of HIV acquisition, those for whom at-home testing may be more acceptable than testing in the clinic, or for those who experience an increased number of barriers to testing. Youth aged 13 to 24 years, are at higher risk, accounting for more than 1 in 5 of the new HIV diagnoses in 2014, with young gay and bisexual males accounting for most diagnoses in this age range. Today 90% of young adults use social media. HIV testing practices need to exploit new avenues for reaching those that are most at risk. At-home HIV testing has been shown to be feasible in the MSM and transgender communities and will be discussed in the context of using modern virtual technology (i.e. Skype and Facetime) and the telephone to administer counseling sessions to individuals in their own home. Combining this process with virtual HIV test counseling session has the potential to improve individual self- efficacy in taking the tests, invite new testers who may avoid clinics due to stigma or past bad experiences, and encourage individuals who may be embarrassed or otherwise reluctant to attend an HIV clinic to get tested.
1. To summarize the literature on the acceptability of at-home HIV testing, as well as issues surrounding self-administered HIV testing
2. To examine a novel experimental design for HIV test counseling that will reach younger high risk populations
3. To discuss how the use of technology can aid in the fight against ending HIV