Predictors of Past-Year Health Care Utilization Among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men Using Andersen's Behavioral Model of Health Service Use
Diaz, JosÃ© E; Sandh, Simon; Schnall, Rebecca; Garofalo, Robert; Kuhns, Lisa M; Pearson, Cynthia R; Bruce, Josh; Batey, D Scott; Radix, Asa; Belkind, Uri; Hidalgo, Marco A; Hirshfield, Sabina
Examining the Information Systems Success (ISS) of a mobile sexual health app (MyPEEPS Mobile) from the perspective of very young men who have sex with men (YMSM)
Cordoba, Evette; Idnay, Betina; Garofalo, Robert; Kuhns, Lisa M; Pearson, Cynthia; Bruce, Josh; Batey, D Scott; Radix, Asa; Belkind, Uri; Hidalgo, Marco A; Hirshfield, Sabina; Rodriguez, Rafael Garibay; Schnall, Rebecca
OBJECTIVE:The widespread and frequent use of mobile technology among adolescents, including sexual minority adolescents, presents an opportunity for the development of mobile health (mHealth) technology to combat the continuing HIV epidemic among young men who have sex with men (YMSM). We analyzed perceptions of the quality and impact of an HIV prevention mobile app on sexual risk reduction among YMSM. METHODS:Participants were recruited from a larger randomized controlled trial of the MyPEEPS Mobile app among YMSM aged 13-18 years. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews to assess quality and user satisfaction with MyPEEPS Mobile app using analysis informed by the Information Systems Success framework. Interview data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using six themes: information quality, net benefit, user satisfaction, product quality, service quality, and health care barriers. RESULTS:Interviews were conducted with 40 YMSM (45% Hispanic; 80% non-White; 88% non-rural resident; 28% aged 17Â years). Participants' responses indicated that information quality was high, reporting that the app information was concise, easy to understand, useful, and relevant to their life. The net benefits were stated as improvements in their decision-making skills, health behaviors, communication skills with partner(s), and increased knowledge of HIV risk. There was general user satisfaction and enjoyment when using the app, although most of the participants did not intend to reuse the app unless new activities were added. Participants expressed that the product quality of the app was good due to its personalization, representation of the LGBTQIAÂ + community, and user-friendly interface. Although no major technical issues were reported, participants suggested that adaption to a native app, rather than a web app, would improve service quality through faster loading speed. Participants also identified some health care barriers that were minimized by app use. CONCLUSIONS:The MyPEEPS Mobile app is a well received, functional, and entertaining mHealth HIV prevention tool that may improve HIV prevention skills and reduce HIV risk among YMSM.
Risk-taking behaviors in adolescent men who have sex with men (MSM): An association between homophobic victimization and alcohol consumption
Cordoba, Evette; Garofalo, Robert; Kuhns, Lisa M; Pearson, Cynthia; Bruce, Josh; Batey, D Scott; Radix, Asa; Belkind, Uri; Hidalgo, Marco A; Hirshfield, Sabina; Garibay Rodriguez, Rafael; Schnall, Rebecca
OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study was to determine whether homophobic victimization was associated with alcohol consumption and riding with an intoxicated driver or driving a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs among adolescent men who have sex with men (MSM). METHODS:Cross-sectional analysis used baseline data from a national HIV prevention trial (NCT03167606) for adolescent MSM aged 13-18 years (N = 747). Multivariable logistic regression models assessed associations between homophobic victimization (independent variable) and alcohol-related outcomes (dependent variables), controlling for age, parents' education level, sexual orientation, health literacy, race, and ethnicity. RESULTS:Most participants (87%) reported at least one form of homophobic victimization in their lifetime, with verbal insults being the most frequently reported (82%). In the bivariate analysis, alcohol consumption and riding with an intoxicated driver or driving a car while under the influence were associated with many forms of victimization. Exposure to at least one form of victimization was associated with increased odds of alcohol consumption (OR: 2.31; 95% CI: 1.38-3.87) and riding with an intoxicated driver or driving a car while under the influence (OR: 2.25; 95% CI: 1.26-4.00), after controlling for covariates. CONCLUSION:Increased risk of alcohol consumption and risky alcohol-related behaviors were found among adolescent MSM who experienced homophobic victimization. Interventions should address homophobic victimization and its impact on adolescent MSM, as well as disentangling motivations for underage drinking, riding with an intoxicated driver or driving a car while under the influence.
Awareness, Willingness, and Perceived Efficacy of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis among Adolescent Sexual Minority Males
GordiÃ¡n-Arroyo, Alvin; Garofalo, Robert; Kuhns, Lisa M; Pearson, Cynthia; Bruce, Josh; Batey, D Scott; Radix, Asa; Belkind, Uri; Hidalgo, Marco A; Hirshfield, Sabina; Schrimshaw, Eric W; Schnall, Rebecca
Despite the approval of PrEP for adolescents by the FDA in 2018, little is known about the awareness and attitudes about PrEP use among adolescent sexual minority males, who are at the greatest risk for HIV. We analyzed baseline data from the MyPEEPS Mobile study, a multi-site randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of a mobile behavioral HIV prevention intervention. A substantial proportion (68.2%) of study participants (ages 13-18) had previously heard about PrEP, and an overwhelming majority (90.8%) reported willingness to take PrEP, to prevent HIV. On the other hand, only about one third (34.6%) of participants indicated that taking a daily HIV pill would be "very" or "completely" effective in preventing HIV when having sex without a condom. These findings suggest that high awareness and willingness to use PrEP across various adolescent subgroups present opportunities for increased PrEP advocacy among this young age group.
Preliminary Results from a Pragmatic Clinical Trial of MyPEEPS Mobile to Improve HIV Prevention Behaviors in Young Men
Schnall, Rebecca; Kuhns, Lisa; Pearson, Cynthia; Bruce, Josh; Batey, D Scott; Radix, Asa; Belkind, Uri; Hidalgo, Marco A; Hirshfield, Sabina; Ganzhorn, Sarah; Garofalo, Robert
Our study team developed the MyPEEPS Mobile App for improving HIV prevention behaviors in diverse young men. We conducted a randomized controlled trial and evaluated the preliminary outcomes in the first half (N=350) of our intended study sample. Higher self-efficacy for HIV prevention behaviors (p=0.0042) and more recent HIV tests in the past 3 months (p=0.0156) were reported by the intervention group compared to control. Numbers of condomless anal sex acts were lower among the intervention group for both insertive anal sex acts (p=0.0283) and receptive anal sex acts (p=0.0001). Preliminary results indicate that some sexual risk behaviors were reduced among the intervention group in the preliminary analytic sample.
Medically assisted gender affirmation: when children and parents disagree
Dubin, Samuel; Lane, Megan; Morrison, Shane; Radix, Asa; Belkind, Uri; Vercler, Christian; Inwards-Breland, David
Institutional guidelines for transgender children and adolescent minors fail to adequately address a critical juncture of care of this population: how to proceed if a minor and their parents have disagreements concerning their gender-affirming medical care. Through arguments based on ethical, paediatric, adolescent and transgender health research, we illustrate ethical dilemmas that may arise in treating transgender and gender diverse youth. We discuss three potential avenues for providing gender-affirming care over parental disagreement: legal carve-outs to parental consent, the mature minor doctrine and state intervention for neglect. Our discussion approaches this parent-child disagreement in a manner that prioritises the developing autonomy of transgender youth in the decision-making process surrounding medically assisted gender affirmation. We base our arguments in the literature surrounding the risks and benefits of gender-affirming therapy in transgender children and the existing legal basis for recognising minors' decision-making authority in certain medical situations.
A randomized controlled efficacy trial of an mHealth HIV prevention intervention for sexual minority young men: MyPEEPS mobile study protocol
Kuhns, Lisa M; Garofalo, Robert; Hidalgo, Marco; Hirshfield, Sabina; Pearson, Cynthia; Bruce, Josh; Batey, D Scott; Radix, Asa; Belkind, Uri; Jia, Haomiao; Schnall, Rebecca
BACKGROUND:Young sexual minority men in the United States have a high incidence rate of HIV infection. Early intervention among this group, that is timed to precede or coincide with sexual initiation, is of critical importance to prevent HIV infection. Despite this, there are very few published randomized controlled efficacy trials testing interventions to reduce sexual vulnerability for HIV acquisition among racially/ethnically diverse, very young, sexual minority men (aged â‰¤18â€‰years). This paper describes the design of a mobile app-based intervention trial to reduce sexual risk for HIV acquisition and promote health protection in this group. METHODS:This study is a randomized controlled trial of an mHealth-based HIV prevention intervention, MyPEEPS Mobile, among diverse sexual minority cisgender young men, aged 13-18â€‰years. The mobile intervention was adapted from a prior group-based intervention curriculum with evidence of efficacy, designed to be specific to the risk contexts and realities of young sexual minority men, and to include psychoeducational and skill-building components with interactive games and activities. Participants are recruited locally within four regional hubs (Birmingham, AL, Chicago, IL, New York City, NY, Seattle, WA) and nationwide via the Internet, enrolled in-person or remotely (via videoconference), and randomized (1:1) to either the MyPEEPS Mobile intervention or delayed intervention condition. Post-hoc stratification by age, race/ethnicity, and urban/suburban vs. rural statuses is used to ensure diversity in the sample. The primary outcomes are number of male anal sex partners and frequency of sexual acts with male partners (with and without condoms), sex under the influence of substances, and uptake of pre-and post-exposure prophylaxis, as well as testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections at 3-, 6- and 9-month follow-up. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:Behavioral interventions for very young sexual minority men are needed to prevent sexual risk early in their sexual development and maturation. This study will provide evidence to determine feasibility and efficacy of a mobile app-based HIV prevention intervention to reduce sexual risk among this very young group. TRIAL REGISTRATION/BACKGROUND:ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03167606, registered May 30, 2017.
Chlamydia trachomatis Infection of the Neovagina in Transgender Women
Radix, Asa E; Harris, Alexander B; Belkind, Uri; Ting, Jess; Goldstein, Zil G
We report 2 cases of neovaginal Chlamydia trachomatis infection in transgender women who underwent penile-inversion vaginoplasty procedures with integrated peritoneum and urethral grafts. These tissue types may have facilitated C. trachomatis infection. Medical providers should implement neovaginal screening for bacterial sexually transmitted infections in transgender patients at risk for infection.
Pilot feasibility trial of the MyPEEPS mobile app to reduce sexual risk among young men in 4 cities
Ignacio, Matt; Garofalo, Robert; Pearson, Cynthia; Kuhns, Lisa M; Bruce, Josh; Scott Batey, D; Radix, Asa; Belkind, Uri; Hidalgo, Marco A; Hirshfield, Sabina; Schnall, Rebecca
Objectives/UNASSIGNED:Our study team adapted the MyPEEPS (Male Youth Pursuing Empowerment, Education, and Prevention around Sexuality) curriculum, an evidence-based human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention intervention, from a face-to-face, group-based intervention to an individual-level mobile responsive web-based intervention to improve HIV risk behaviors in very young men, aged 13-18 years. Materials and methods/UNASSIGNED:In adapting the MyPEEPS intervention to mobile app, we used a series of methodologies, including expert panel reviews, weekly team meetings with the software development company, and conducted in-depth interviews with very young men. Following the iterative process, we conducted a 6-week pre-post feasibility pilot trial with 40 young men in Birmingham, AL; Chicago, IL; New York City, NY; and Seattle, WA. Primary outcomes of interest were uptake of the app, accessibility and satisfaction. Results/UNASSIGNED:Across all 4 sites, 62.5% (25/40) of participants completed all modules in the app in an average of 28.85 (SD 21.69) days. Participants who did not attend to the follow-up visit did not complete any of the app modules. Overall participants reported that the app was easy to use, useful and has the potential to improve their sexual health knowledge and behavior and awareness in risky contexts. Participants also highly rated the app, information and interface quality of the app. Discussion/UNASSIGNED:Lessons learned from the pilot included the need for reminder systems and providing anticipatory guidance about Internet connectivity when using the app. These changes will be incorporated into study procedures for our multisite trial. Conclusion/UNASSIGNED:Overall, participants found the app to be highly usable and have the potential to positively improve their sexual risk behavior.
Adaptation of a Group-Based HIV RISK Reduction Intervention to a Mobile App for Young Sexual Minority Men
Schnall, Rebecca; Kuhns, Lisa M; Hidalgo, Marco A; Powell, Dakota; Thai, Jennie; Hirshfield, Sabina; Pearson, Cynthia; Ignacio, Matt; Bruce, Josh; Batey, D Scott; Radix, Asa; Belkind, Uri; Garofalo, Robert
There is a dearth of evidence-based HIV prevention interventions for very young men who have sex with men (YMSM) ages 13-18 years, at high risk for HIV. We adapted the MyPEEPS intervention-an evidence-based, group-level intervention-to individual-level delivery by a mobile application. We used an expert panel review, in-depth interviews with YMSM (n = 40), and weekly meetings with the investigative team and the software development company to develop the mobile app. The expert panel recommended changes to the intervention in the following areas: (1) biomedical interventions, (2) salience of intervention content, (3) age group relevance, (4) technical components, and (5) stigma content. Interview findings reflected current areas of focus for the intervention and recommendations of the expert panel for new content. In regular meetings with the software development firm, guiding principles included development of dynamic content, while maintaining fidelity of the original curriculum and shortening intervention content for mobile delivery.