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Home-Based HIV Testing and Counseling for Male Couples (Project Nexus): A Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial.
JMIR Res Protoc. 2017 May 30; 6(5):e101.JR

Abstract

BACKGROUND

HIV prevalence remains high among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States, yet the majority of research has focused on MSM as individuals, not as dyads, and has discussed HIV risks primarily in the context of casual sex. Nexus is an online prevention program that combines home-based HIV testing and couples HIV testing and counseling (CHTC). It allows partners in dyadic MSM relationships to receive HIV testing and care in the comfort of their designated residence, via video-based chat. By using video-based technologies (eg, VSee video chat), male couples receive counseling and support from a remote online counselor, while testing for HIV at home.

OBJECTIVE

This randomized control trial (RCT) aims to examine the effects of video-based counseling combined with home-based HIV testing on couples' management of HIV risk, formation and adherence to explicit sexual agreements, and sexual risk-taking.

METHODS

The research implements a prospective RCT of 400 online-recruited male couples: 200 self-reported concordant-negative couples and 200 self-reported discordant couples. Couples in the control arm will receive one or two home-based HIV self-testing kits and will be asked to report their results via the study's website. Couples in the experimental arm will receive one or two home-based HIV self-testing kits and will conduct these tests together under the facilitation of a remotely located counselor during a prescheduled VSee-based video CHTC session. Study assessments are taken at baseline, as well as at 3- and 6-month follow-up sessions.

RESULTS

Project Nexus was launched in April 2016 and is ongoing. To date, 219 eligible couples have been enrolled and randomized.

CONCLUSIONS

Combining home-based HIV testing with video-based counseling creates an opportunity to expand CHTC to male couples who (1) live outside metro areas, (2) live in rural areas without access to testing services or LGBTQ resources, or (3) feel that current clinic-based testing is not for them (eg, due to fears of discrimination associated with HIV and/or sexuality).

TRIAL REGISTRATION

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02335138; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02335138 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6qHxtNIdW).

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Nursing, Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States. The Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.The Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.School of Nursing, Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States. The Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.School of Nursing, Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States. The Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.University of Rochester Medical Center, Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, United States.Office of Public Health Studies, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI, United States.Rollins School of Public Health, Hubert Department of Global Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States. Rollins School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States.Rollins School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28559225

Citation

Stephenson, Rob, et al. "Home-Based HIV Testing and Counseling for Male Couples (Project Nexus): a Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial." JMIR Research Protocols, vol. 6, no. 5, 2017, pp. e101.
Stephenson R, Freeland R, Sullivan SP, et al. Home-Based HIV Testing and Counseling for Male Couples (Project Nexus): A Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Res Protoc. 2017;6(5):e101.
Stephenson, R., Freeland, R., Sullivan, S. P., Riley, E., Johnson, B. A., Mitchell, J., McFarland, D., & Sullivan, P. S. (2017). Home-Based HIV Testing and Counseling for Male Couples (Project Nexus): A Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 6(5), e101. https://doi.org/10.2196/resprot.7341
Stephenson R, et al. Home-Based HIV Testing and Counseling for Male Couples (Project Nexus): a Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Res Protoc. 2017 May 30;6(5):e101. PubMed PMID: 28559225.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Home-Based HIV Testing and Counseling for Male Couples (Project Nexus): A Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. AU - Stephenson,Rob, AU - Freeland,Ryan, AU - Sullivan,Stephen P, AU - Riley,Erin, AU - Johnson,Brent A, AU - Mitchell,Jason, AU - McFarland,Deborah, AU - Sullivan,Patrick S, Y1 - 2017/05/30/ PY - 2017/01/17/received PY - 2017/04/04/accepted PY - 2017/04/04/revised PY - 2017/6/1/entrez PY - 2017/6/1/pubmed PY - 2017/6/1/medline KW - HIV KW - male couples KW - telemedicine SP - e101 EP - e101 JF - JMIR research protocols JO - JMIR Res Protoc VL - 6 IS - 5 N2 - BACKGROUND: HIV prevalence remains high among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States, yet the majority of research has focused on MSM as individuals, not as dyads, and has discussed HIV risks primarily in the context of casual sex. Nexus is an online prevention program that combines home-based HIV testing and couples HIV testing and counseling (CHTC). It allows partners in dyadic MSM relationships to receive HIV testing and care in the comfort of their designated residence, via video-based chat. By using video-based technologies (eg, VSee video chat), male couples receive counseling and support from a remote online counselor, while testing for HIV at home. OBJECTIVE: This randomized control trial (RCT) aims to examine the effects of video-based counseling combined with home-based HIV testing on couples' management of HIV risk, formation and adherence to explicit sexual agreements, and sexual risk-taking. METHODS: The research implements a prospective RCT of 400 online-recruited male couples: 200 self-reported concordant-negative couples and 200 self-reported discordant couples. Couples in the control arm will receive one or two home-based HIV self-testing kits and will be asked to report their results via the study's website. Couples in the experimental arm will receive one or two home-based HIV self-testing kits and will conduct these tests together under the facilitation of a remotely located counselor during a prescheduled VSee-based video CHTC session. Study assessments are taken at baseline, as well as at 3- and 6-month follow-up sessions. RESULTS: Project Nexus was launched in April 2016 and is ongoing. To date, 219 eligible couples have been enrolled and randomized. CONCLUSIONS: Combining home-based HIV testing with video-based counseling creates an opportunity to expand CHTC to male couples who (1) live outside metro areas, (2) live in rural areas without access to testing services or LGBTQ resources, or (3) feel that current clinic-based testing is not for them (eg, due to fears of discrimination associated with HIV and/or sexuality). TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02335138; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02335138 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6qHxtNIdW). SN - 1929-0748 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28559225/Home_Based_HIV_Testing_and_Counseling_for_Male_Couples__Project_Nexus_:_A_Protocol_for_a_Randomized_Controlled_Trial_ L2 - https://www.researchprotocols.org/2017/5/e101/ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -