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Hot, horny and healthy-online intervention to incentivize HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) testing among young Mexican MSM: a feasibility study.
Mhealth. 2020; 6:28.M

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Encouraging Mexican men who have sex with men (MSM) to learn about and get tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is essential not only to initiate early treatment and reduce complications related to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) but also to avoid new infections. HIV testing for MSM in Mexico remains a challenge, in part because of the stigma and discrimination they face in their daily lives and perceived discrimination in health care services. Thus, innovative approaches are needed to increase the uptake of health prevention services among this population. Games for health and gamification are now established approaches to achieving desired behavior change. Gamified interventions have been successfully deployed in various health domains, including HIV awareness, treatment, and prevention. The aim of this 2015 study was to develop a phone-based game and linked online platform with gamification elements to incentivize HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) testing, normalize asking partners about serostatus, and increase HIV and STI knowledge among young Mexican MSM. This paper describes its implementation process and feasibility assessment.

METHODS

The study consisted of three phases. The first phase was the formative research, which consisted of 6 focus groups and rapid prototyping to determine the most effective and appropriate design for the intervention. The second phase consisted of piloting and implementing the intervention over five weeks among 62 MSM, aged between 18 and 35 years old. Lastly, we assessed the feasibility of the intervention over three dimensions: acceptability, demand, and implementation. We conducted ten semi-structured interviews with participants and used a mixed-methods approach, including qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods.

RESULTS

Overall, the conceptual components of the intervention were perceived as acceptable, which leads us to believe that the formative phase captured our participants' needs and perceptions. However, we underestimated the complexity of the technical challenges involved. Participants' high standards and expectations of an interactive product based on their experience with industrially produced games impacted their patterns of use. Nevertheless, they perceived the platform as a good-quality information source. Gamification elements such as badges, points, and prizes were perceived as fun, exciting, and motivating, and 71% of participants engaged in at least one activity to earn points.

CONCLUSIONS

A game-based intervention, coupled with an online platform that incorporates gamification elements to motivate HIV and STI testing in young Mexican MSM is feasible. Successfully scaling such an intervention to a broader audience would require reducing the complexity of the intervention, working with a local technical partner to develop and implement a more efficient platform, improving the quality of the graphics, and a re-design of the point system.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Center for Health Systems Research, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico.Center for Health Systems Research, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico.School of Public Health, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT 06518, USA.Center for Health Systems Research, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico. School of Public Health, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32632366

Citation

Andrade-Romo, Zafiro, et al. "Hot, Horny and Healthy-online Intervention to Incentivize HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Testing Among Young Mexican MSM: a Feasibility Study." MHealth, vol. 6, 2020, p. 28.
Andrade-Romo Z, Chavira-Razo L, Buzdugan R, et al. Hot, horny and healthy-online intervention to incentivize HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) testing among young Mexican MSM: a feasibility study. Mhealth. 2020;6:28.
Andrade-Romo, Z., Chavira-Razo, L., Buzdugan, R., Bertozzi, E., & Bautista-Arredondo, S. (2020). Hot, horny and healthy-online intervention to incentivize HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) testing among young Mexican MSM: a feasibility study. MHealth, 6, 28. https://doi.org/10.21037/mhealth.2020.03.01
Andrade-Romo Z, et al. Hot, Horny and Healthy-online Intervention to Incentivize HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Testing Among Young Mexican MSM: a Feasibility Study. Mhealth. 2020;6:28. PubMed PMID: 32632366.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Hot, horny and healthy-online intervention to incentivize HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) testing among young Mexican MSM: a feasibility study. AU - Andrade-Romo,Zafiro, AU - Chavira-Razo,Laura, AU - Buzdugan,Raluca, AU - Bertozzi,Elena, AU - Bautista-Arredondo,Sergio, Y1 - 2020/07/05/ PY - 2019/08/29/received PY - 2020/02/25/accepted PY - 2020/7/8/entrez PY - 2020/7/8/pubmed PY - 2020/7/8/medline KW - Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) KW - gamification KW - men who have sex with men (MSM) KW - sexually transmitted infections (STI) KW - testing SP - 28 EP - 28 JF - mHealth JO - Mhealth VL - 6 N2 - BACKGROUND: Encouraging Mexican men who have sex with men (MSM) to learn about and get tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is essential not only to initiate early treatment and reduce complications related to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) but also to avoid new infections. HIV testing for MSM in Mexico remains a challenge, in part because of the stigma and discrimination they face in their daily lives and perceived discrimination in health care services. Thus, innovative approaches are needed to increase the uptake of health prevention services among this population. Games for health and gamification are now established approaches to achieving desired behavior change. Gamified interventions have been successfully deployed in various health domains, including HIV awareness, treatment, and prevention. The aim of this 2015 study was to develop a phone-based game and linked online platform with gamification elements to incentivize HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) testing, normalize asking partners about serostatus, and increase HIV and STI knowledge among young Mexican MSM. This paper describes its implementation process and feasibility assessment. METHODS: The study consisted of three phases. The first phase was the formative research, which consisted of 6 focus groups and rapid prototyping to determine the most effective and appropriate design for the intervention. The second phase consisted of piloting and implementing the intervention over five weeks among 62 MSM, aged between 18 and 35 years old. Lastly, we assessed the feasibility of the intervention over three dimensions: acceptability, demand, and implementation. We conducted ten semi-structured interviews with participants and used a mixed-methods approach, including qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods. RESULTS: Overall, the conceptual components of the intervention were perceived as acceptable, which leads us to believe that the formative phase captured our participants' needs and perceptions. However, we underestimated the complexity of the technical challenges involved. Participants' high standards and expectations of an interactive product based on their experience with industrially produced games impacted their patterns of use. Nevertheless, they perceived the platform as a good-quality information source. Gamification elements such as badges, points, and prizes were perceived as fun, exciting, and motivating, and 71% of participants engaged in at least one activity to earn points. CONCLUSIONS: A game-based intervention, coupled with an online platform that incorporates gamification elements to motivate HIV and STI testing in young Mexican MSM is feasible. Successfully scaling such an intervention to a broader audience would require reducing the complexity of the intervention, working with a local technical partner to develop and implement a more efficient platform, improving the quality of the graphics, and a re-design of the point system. SN - 2306-9740 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32632366/Hot_horny_and_healthy_online_intervention_to_incentivize_HIV_and_sexually_transmitted_infections__STI__testing_among_young_Mexican_MSM:_a_feasibility_study_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.21037/mhealth.2020.03.01 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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