MHealth HIV prevention programme acceptable for boys in the sexual minority
Guy2Guy, an mHealth HIV prevention programme, is acceptable and feasible for use in young, sexual minority boys, reports a recent study.
Researchers randomly assigned 302 sexual minority boys to receive the Guy2Guy mHealth intervention or an attention-matched control scenario. An online survey about feasibility and acceptability was administered at 3 months, and a subsequent focus group consultation was performed.
After 3 months, 283 participants remained enrolled, resulting in a retention rate of 94 percent. This was greater than the 80-percent threshold, indicating good feasibility of the mHealth intervention.
The online survey was completed by 275 participants, while 16 accomplished the text message-based survey. Results showed that the mHealth intervention was both acceptable and tolerable. For instance, 93 percent somewhat or strongly agreed that they liked the programme, while 75 percent said that they were very likely or somewhat inclined to recommend Guy2Guy to their peers.
On the other hand, while more than 90 percent participants responded that the messages were easy enough to comprehend, 22 percent and 10 percent agreed that the intervention focused too much on condoms and HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases, respectively.
Moreover, 20 percent respondents felt that the Guy2Guy programme sent too many messages, though only 10 percent admitted that they stopped reading the messages toward the end of the programme. Five percent said that the programme disrupted their daily schedule.
“Although the evidence for text messages to impact behaviours is increasingly strong, we still lack the precise knowledge of how to design engaging content, how to calibrate dose and timing of messages, and whether a specific dose is needed to achieve or increase targeted behavioural outcomes,” said researchers. Future studies should focus on addressing these gaps.