In years 1-3 of the iTech, we will have optimized and pilot-tested using a similar study design and identical study outcomes two distinct mobile apps, LYNX and MyChoices, designed to increase HIV testing and PrEP uptake among YMSM. The apps were developed based on different theories of behavior change, and therefore contain different components, differing messaging strategies and different approaches for engaging youth. If either or both apps are shown to be both feasible and acceptable, the individual apps will be tested in this follow-on research study in Years 4 and 5 to evaluate for efficacy. Comparing the apps will allow us to identify any efficacy differences in increasing HIV testing or increasing PrEP uptake between the two apps. If justified, we will combine the components of each app that have the greatest impact on behaviors into a final, composite app for dissemination.
Intervention lasts 12 months.
450 participants across seven SRVS (accrual occurs over 8 months, 8-9 ppts per SRV per month).
- Between 15 and 24 years of age
- HIV uninfected (or HIV status unknown)
- Assigned male sex at birth and identifies as male
- Have not had an HIV test within past 6 months
- Not currently on PrEP regimen
- To conduct an RCT that assess the efficacy of these apps in improving HIV testing and PrEP starts among YMSM
- The primary outcomes will be HIV testing (via self-report with confirmation by presenting test results) and PrEP uptake (via self-report).
450 YMSM recruited from 6 iTech SRVs, age 15-24, will be randomized 1:1:1 to receive either MyChoices, LYNX, or standard of care information about HIV testing and PrEP. YMSM will be followed for 12 months.
- Additionally, every 3 months participants will complete a brief online quantitative assessment to measure sexual behavior, HIV testing patterns, linkage to PrEP and other prevention services, HIV/STI test results, and general health care access.
- Among those in the experimental condition, we will track usage patterns to assess frequency of use of specific app functionalities.