Uptake and Impact of Short Message Service Reminders via Sexually Transmitted Infection Partner Services on Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing Frequency Among Men Who Have Sex With Men.Sex Transm Dis 2019; 46(10):641-647ST
Sexually transmitted infection (STI) partner services (PS) allow provision of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/STI prevention interventions to high-risk individuals, including testing reminders via short message service (SMS).
In King County, Washington, PS attempt to reach all men who have sex with men (MSM) with early syphilis and those with gonorrhea or chlamydia as resources allow. Since 2013, PS offered quarterly SMS testing reminders. We evaluated correlates of reminder uptake and the association between reminder uptake and postinterview asymptomatic STI diagnosis using Poisson regression, and the association between preinterview SMS reminder use and intertest interval among HIV-negative MSM using median regression.
During July 1, 2013 to January 17, 2018, 8236 MSM were reported with 1 or more STI diagnoses and 5237 received PS interviews. Of these, 4087 (78%) were offered SMS reminders; 545 (13%) accepted, 265 (7%) were already receiving SMS, 3277 (80%) refused. Of 2602 patients who refused and were asked about other reminders, 37% used none, 16% received reminders from medical providers, 20% tested at routine physicals, and 26% used other reminders. SMS reminder use before and after PS interview was associated with negative HIV status, younger age, and diagnosis with gonorrhea or chlamydia (vs. syphilis) (P < 0.05 for all). Preinterview intertest interval was longer among MSM testing at physicals (9.6 months) than those using no reminder (5.6), SMS reminders (4.7, P < 0.05 vs. physicals), and non-SMS reminders (3.6, P < 0.001 vs. SMS). Reminder uptake was not associated with postinterview STI diagnosis.
Offering SMS reminders through STI PS is feasible. Uptake was low, but higher among young MSM not on preexposure prophylaxis. The SMS reminders may increase testing frequency.