Condition category
Infections and Infestations
Date applied
27/04/2020
Date assigned
28/04/2020
Last edited
03/09/2020
Prospective/Retrospective
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Ongoing
Recruitment status
Recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Over the past two decades, significant changes have occurred in how men who have sex with men (MSM) find partners, moving from the traditional approach (in person at gay bars) to the Internet and now to smartphone dating applications (apps). Notably, both international and local studies have found a high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and risky sexual behaviours, such as condomless anal sex, substance misuse in conjunction with sex ('chemsex') and group sex, among MSM dating app users. Although the use of dating apps is an emerging sexual risk factor, little effort has been expended on the promotion of safe sex and good sexual health among the users of those apps. Previous studies in various populations have found that interactive web-based interventions can improve sexual health knowledge, attitudes and sexual behaviours. Therefore, the aim of the proposed study is to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of an interactive web-based intervention in improving the sexual health of MSM dating app users in Hong Kong.

Who can participate?
Adult men over 18 years who are homosexually active and use dating apps.

What does the study involve?
Chinese MSM dating app users who have had sex in the past 12 months will be recruited and randomly allocated into either the intervention (n = 200) or control group (n = 200). Subjects in the intervention group will receive the web-based intervention containing interactive content that (1) encourages a positive attitude towards consistent condom use and HIV/STI testing and negative attitude towards chemsex and group sex; (2) positions condom use and regular HIV/STI testing as normative; and (3) targets improved perceived self-efficacy concerning condom use and negotiation and HIV/STI testing. The control group will receive only web-based information without sexual health components. Subjects in both groups will be evaluated at baseline and three and six months after baseline.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
One possible benefit is that participants can enhance their sexual health knowledge. There is no significant risk in the study.

Where is the study run from?
School of Nursing, University of Hong Kong.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
June 2020 to September 2021

Who is funding the study?
Research Grants Council (Early Career Scheme), University of Hong Kong.

Who is the main contact?
Dr Edmond Pui Hang Choi
h0714919@connect.hku.hk

Trial website

Contact information

Type

Scientific

Primary contact

Dr Edmond Pui Hang Choi

ORCID ID

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9062-3540

Contact details

School of Nursing
The University of Hong Kong
4/F
William M.W. Mong Block
21 Sassoon Road
Pokfulam
Hong Kong
-
Hong Kong
+852 3917 6600
h0714919@connect.hku.hk

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

Nil known

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Nil known

Protocol/serial number

Nil known

Study information

Scientific title

Safe use of dating applications (apps) among men who have sex with men: developing and testing an interactive web-based intervention to reduce risky sexual behaviours

Acronym

Study hypothesis

Education regarding condom use and HIV/STI testing will result in (1) fewer risky sexual behaviours, (2) better efficacy in and positive attitudes towards condom use, and (3) more HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing.

Ethics approval

Approved 20/02/2018, Institutional Review Board of the University of Hong Kong/Hospital Authority Hong Kong West Cluster (Room 901, 9/F, Administration Block, Queen Mary Hospital, 102 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong; +852 2255 4086; hkwirb@ha.org.hk), ref: HKU/HA HKW IRB: UW 18-152

Study design

Two-armed non-blinded randomized controlled trial

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting

Community

Trial type

Quality of life

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use contact details to request a participant information sheet.

Condition

Safe sex to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STI)

Intervention

Chinese MSM dating app users who have had sex in the past 12 months will be recruited and randomly allocated into either the intervention (n = 200) or control group (n = 200). Subjects in the intervention group will receive the web-based intervention containing interactive content that (1) encourages a positive attitude towards consistent condom use and HIV/STI testing and negative attitude towards chemsex and group sex; (2) positions condom use and regular HIV/STI testing as normative; and (3) targets improved perceived self-efficacy concerning condom use and negotiation and HIV/STI testing. The control group will receive only web-based information without sexual health components. Subjects in both groups will be evaluated at baseline and 3 and 6 months after baseline.

Participants will be randomly assigned to either the intervention group or control group via computer-generated block randomisation (with blocks of size 4) on a 1:1 randomisation ratio; no stratification will be applied.

Intervention type

Behavioural

Phase

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Frequency of condomless anal sex measured using self-report, in the preceding 3 months (at baseline), at 3 months, and 6 months follow up

Secondary outcome measures

1. Frequency of group sex and chemsex measured using self-report, in the preceding 3 months (at baseline), at 3 months, and 6 months follow up
2. Self-efficacy in condom use measured using the validated traditional Chinese version of the Condom Self-Efficacy Scale at baseline, 3-month follow-up and 6-month follow-up
3. Attitudes towards condom use is measured by the UCLA Multidimensional Condom Attitudes Scale at baseline, 3-month follow-up and 6-month follow-up
4. Frequency of HIV and other STI testing measured using self-report, in the preceding 3 months (at baseline), at 3 months, and 6 months follow up

Overall trial start date

01/10/2017

Overall trial end date

30/09/2021

Reason abandoned (if study stopped)

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

1. Men who have sex with men
2. Cisgender
3. Aged 18 or above
4. Current dating app users
5. HIV-negative
6. Sexually active
7. Able to read and understand Chinese

Participant type

Other

Age group

Adult

Gender

Male

Target number of participants

400

Participant exclusion criteria

Does not meet inclusion criteria

Recruitment start date

01/06/2020

Recruitment end date

31/03/2021

Locations

Countries of recruitment

Hong Kong

Trial participating centre

The University of Hong Kong
School of Nursing 4/F, William M.W. Mong Block 21 Sassoon Road Pokfulam
Hong Kong
-
Hong Kong

Sponsor information

Organisation

University of Hong Kong

Sponsor details

School of Nursing
4/F
William M.W. Mong Block
21 Sassoon Road
Pokfulam
Hong Kong
-
Hong Kong
+852 3917 6600
nursing@hku.hk

Sponsor type

University/education

Website

https://nursing.hku.hk/

Funders

Funder type

University/education

Funder name

University of Hong Kong

Alternative name(s)

HKU

Funding Body Type

unknown

Funding Body Subtype

Location

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals.

IPD sharing statement:
The current data sharing plans for this study are unknown and will be available at a later date

Intention to publish date

31/12/2021

Participant level data

To be made available at a later date

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

2020 protocol in https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32460748/ (added 29/05/2020)

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

03/09/2020: The recruitment end date was changed from 30/09/2020 to 31/03/2021. 15/07/2020: The condition category has been changed from 'Not Specified' to 'Infections and Infestations'. 29/05/2020: Publication reference added. 28/04/2020: Trial’s existence confirmed by Institutional Review Board of the University of Hong Kong/Hospital Authority Hong Kong West Cluster.