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Welcome to the BATLab’s Weekly Lit Review, where every week we post peer-reviewed papers relevant to our research projects.

This week, take a look at this interesting study published in September 2018 in the SAGE Journals of Health Education and Behavior: Information, Motivation, and Self-Efficacy Among MSM and Transgender Women in the state of Maharashtra, India

Abstract: India’s National AIDS Control Programme calls for a variety of new strategies, including targeted behavioral interventions that address determinants contributing to new infections among men who have sex with men and transgender women (hijras). This research focuses on creating an opening for developing new theoretically based interventions that address the factors driving the burden of HIV infection, such as stigma surrounding homosexuality and persons living with HIV. The goal of the study was to investigate whether or not condom use and HIV risk knowledge would positively correlate with an increase in condom use self-efficacy and a decrease in condomless anal sex with more than one male partner. Researchers hypothesized that among an Indian sample of men who have sex with men, having information about HIV would positively predict condom use and self-efficacy.

The results of the study discovered that condom use and HIV risk knowledge did not significantly predict condom use self-efficacy, or having condomless anal sex with multiple partners in the last 3 months. Contrary to the model the IMB suggests, knowledge was not significantly correlated with attitudes towards condomless anal sex. However, the participant’s knowledge of safer sex practices were mixed. The responses to these questions suggest that men who have sex with men and transgender women have varying levels of information about safer sex practices, but does not necessarily relate to an increase of preventative behavior.

So what questions does this study raise? One question to ask is: What role does access to information play in predicting behavior? In order to aid public health infrastructures which develop programs that reinforce safe sex, prevention methods should extend beyond a basic knowledge of safe sex. One possible suggestion towards this would be to include the use of technology to provide information about HIV/AIDS treatment options and access to healthcare providers that may be out of reach. iTech researchers are focusing on using mobile apps that would reduce the burden of HIV among MSM and Transgender populations. These mobile apps would be used to offer a variety of services ranging from information and support, to access to care via telemedicine. Through innovative use of technology, HIV prevention models based on Western data could be translated into a more global context.

Contributors:

  1. Michael Wilkerson, PhD, Jayson Michael Rhoton, PhD, Dennis Li, PhD, Shruta Amit Rawat, MSc, Pallav Patankar, MA, B. R. Simon Rosser, PhD, Maria Ekstrand, PhD

Article can be found here: https://doi.org/10.1177/1090198118796880

 

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