Internet-based testing services for sexually-transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI) are intended to make it easier to get tested. It’s possible though, that people who use these services already have good access to testing, widening the gap for people who need to get tested the most.
We tested these scenarios in a study comparing the experiences of people using the internet-based STBBI testing service GetCheckedOnline.com (GCO) to people getting tested in person at an STI clinic. We found that GCO was being used by people who face more barriers to getting tested for STBBI, and not just by people had higher socio-economic status or who were more tech-savvy. The full article can be accessed here.
We are pleased to announce our recent success in the HIV Implementation Science Team Grant competition funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Ours was one of five teams in Canada to be awarded this prestigious grant, which will enable us to research the necessary conditions to effectively and equitably scale up GetCheckedOnline to diverse populations and geographic settings. Led by Drs. Mark Gilbert, Catherine Worthington, and Daniel Grace, this five year research project brings together a diverse team of 48 researchers, community experts, and decision-makers to monitor the expansion of GetCheckedOnline in British Columbia and Toronto and rigorously examine the factors that enable the service to reach intended populations and reduce health inequities including HIV incidence. Findings will be published on Lovebytes, stay tuned!