Coordinated by the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales, the Burnet Institute is a collaborating partners on the eTEST project.
eTEST is an intervention and surveillance system based in 10-15 NSW general practice clinics and one high caseload clinic in Melbourne that aims to increase STI/HIV testing among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM).
This includes increasing testing among high-risk men to at least twice annually, bi-annual STI testing among men living with HIV, and increased re-testing after chlamydia and gonorrhoea infections for all gay, bisexual, and other MSM.
eTEST involve the implementation and evaluation of a multi-faceted intervention package tailored to each practice, including:
- Improved data recording software to capture brief risk information.
- Electronic computer alerts to remind practitioners to offer testing in accordance with the guidelines, and when the next STI/HIV test is due.
- SMS reminder programs remind and encourage gay, bisexual, and other MSM to return for another test, and for re-testing following a chlamydia or gonorrhoea infection.
- Regular reports to inform clinics and practitioners of their testing rates.
The impact of this intervention will be assessed by measuring change in:
- The proportion of high risk gay, bisexual, and other MSM who undergo two or more STI/HIV tests in a 12 month period; and
- The proportion of men who returned for a STI test after receiving the SMS reminder, compared to those who did not receive the SMS reminder.
The impact of the intervention will be assessed at 12 and 24 months. Additionally, interviews will also be conducted with clinic staff before and after the intervention and with men who take part in the reminder system as a way to assess the broader potential for implementation.