Assessing Willingness to Test for HIV among Men who have Sex with Men using Conjoint Analysis

Implications for Testing and Treatment for Prevention of HIV Transmission: A Pilot Study

At a glance:

Project Name: Assessing Willingness to Test for HIV among Men who have Sex with Men using Conjoint Analysis: Implications for Testing and Treatment for Prevention of HIV Transmission

 

Brief overview: Various HIV testing methods currently available all have advantages and drawbacks.  In order to increase consumers’ HIV testing uptake, identifying key attributes influencing willingness to test for HIV is critical. MSM have significantly lower rates of HIV testing than the rest of theUSpopulation, despite reporting similar rates of risk behaviors. This study used conjoint analysis to provide an empirical basis for determining strategies to increase HIV testing uptake among MSM in Los Angeles, thus contributing to the feasibility of the “test and treat” initiative in Los Angeles.

 

Targeted Risk Group: Men who have sex with men (MSM)

 

Geographical Location: Los Angeles, CA

 

Intervention Model:  Cross-sectional study assessing willingness to test for HIV using conjoint analysis

 

Research methods: From June 2011 to September 2011, 75 MSM aged 18 and over were recruited from the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center (LAGLC) to participate in a one-time conjoint analysis exercise to gather information around their HIV testing preferences.  Each hypothetical HIV testing scenario (conjoint) consisted of specific combination of seven dichotomous attributes.  We found a broad range of willingness to test (WTT) for HIV scores across the eight hypothetical HIV testing scenarios (range: 32.33 – 80.33).  The HIV testing scenarios with the highest WTT score had the following attribute profile: test given at home, free, blood collection, results available immediately, anonymous, results can be given by phone, and counseling given in-person by a counselor.  The HIV testing scenario with the lowest WTT score had the following attribute profile: test given at home, costs $50, blood collection, result available in 1-2 weeks, anonymous, results given in person, and counseling information on a brochure with an option to call.  Three attributes had a significant impact on influencing MSM’s decision to get tested for HIV.  Price had the biggest impact (impact score=31.42), followed by timeliness of results (Impact score=13.91) and location (Impact score=10.25).  Impacts of other four attributes on WTT score were not statistically significant.

 

 

Local Significance: This pilot study provided a vital first step in providing population-specific data on willingness to test for HIV among MSM inLos Angeles.  The findings will be valuable in informing HIV testing research and policy communities on 1) consumer reactions to different attributes of HIV testing, 2) the design of social marketing campaigns to facilitate HIV testing uptake, and 3) the design of new HIV testing methods to ensure uptake.