This study aims to assess a motivational interviewing (MI) counselling approach compared to standard counselling (SC) on the occurrence and causes of unprotected anal sex (UAS) among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Montreal. Based on observations from previous study phases, the main hypothesis is that UAS will decrease by 15% for participants in the MI group and by 8% for participants in the SC group.
In Canada, rates of HIV remain high among men who have sex with men (MSM). Some 45.1% of the adult population living with HIV are estimated to belong to this group. More specifically, in Quebec MSM accounted for 64.8% of new HIV diagnoses in 2009; among these, 37.2% had not previously been tested. In the last decade, an increase of unprotected sex among MSM has been observed, based on false assumptions of one’s own or a partner’s HIV status. To address these challenges, HIV testing has the potential to serve as a major prevention strategy. In addition, testing offers an excellent opportunity to provide individualized counselling and explore preventive practices and testing routines. Since July 2009, the SPOT project has combined many of these strategies in an original way to increase access to testing and reduce new infections among MSM.
The current phase of the project aims to strengthen the work undertaken during previous phases. This 18-month trial will take place at SPOT’s community site in Montreal. Participants will be randomly assigned to either MI or SC counselling. SC will be offered by staff from CSSS Jeanne-Mance using regular testing procedures already in place. MI will be offered by an experienced team specially trained in the use of this approach to counseling at SPOT. All baseline study visits will be carried out at the SPOT community-based testing site. Study outcomes will be collected via questionnaires.
If you would like more information on this clinical study, please refer to the SPOT website or participating site.