Oral HIV Self-Implemented Testing: Performance Fidelity Among African American MSM

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AIDS and Behavior

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Oral-Self Implemented HIV Testing (Oral-SIT) offers a low-cost way to extend the reach of HIV testing systems. It is unclear, however, if high risk populations are able to perform the test with high fidelity. Using a simulation-based research design, we administered desensitized Oral-SIT kits to African American MSM (AAMSM; 17–24 years, N = 178). Participants were HIV negative or never tested, and had never self-administered an Oral-SIT kit. We assessed performance fidelity, and hypothesized antecedents. High levels of social stigma were associated with lower levels of training knowledge (Range = No Errors: 51.9%, 4 Errors: 0.6%) and performance fidelity (Range = No Errors: 39.9%, 3 Errors: 1.7%). Training knowledge and prior testing history were positively associated with performance fidelity. The present work extends research on HIV-related social stigma and suggests that social stigma inhibits knowledge acquisition and task performance. The Oral-SIT training materials were understood by individuals with a wide-range of educational backgrounds. Interventions are needed, however, to further improve Oral-SIT performance fidelity.


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