HIV infection and factors associated with condom ordering via a social health mobile application for men who have sex with men in a randomized control trial of Mobile Messaging for Men Open Access

Davis, Carol (Spring 2023)

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HIV remains one of the United States’ greatest public health burdens, disproportionately affecting gay and bisexual men who have sex with men (GBMSM). Condoms are a proven tool of HIV prevention and there is a paucity of literature addressing the determinants of which GBMSM in the United States order condoms from distribution platforms/distributors. Mobile apps have been proven as effective, acceptable, and usable public health prevention tools for addressing HIV prevention among GBMSM, including among the high impacted GBMSM populations in rural Southern United States. The Mobile Messaging for Men trial, from January 2018 to October 2019, tested the efficacy of a social-cognitive theory-based HIV prevention app among GBMSM that offered multiple features, including an ordering platform for free condoms and condom-compatible lubricant. This study evaluated the uptake of condom ordering among GBMSM in three US cities by applying the information, motivation, and behavioral skills (IMB) framework to identify factors associated with condom ordering. Our study revealed that when offered the opportunity to order free condoms via a mobile app, 37% of GBMSM ordered condoms at least once during a nine-month period. According to our model, the only significant associations of condom ordering in our cohort were with HIV status and testing history: men who were HIV negative and not recently tested were more likely to order condoms via the mobile app than men who were HIV positive (RR = 1.60, 95% CI: 1.16-2.19). Future work to better understand the connection between HIV testing and mobile app prevention services could be important to increasing the success of these innovative condom delivery services among men who may not be adequately accessing other prevention and clinical services.  

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