Recently the GGD implemented home-based sexual health care, such as home STI and HIV testing for men who (also) have sex with men. To test for syphilis and HIV, men are asked to draw a blood sample. There are several options for drawing blood at home, such as a finger prick. Another method is through a vacuum system. This is a device that you can place on your upper arm. By pressing the button on the device, the tube will fill itself with blood.
Would you like to test this new sampling method for us?
The purpose of this study is to test the user-friendliness of this device. The questionnaire will therefore include questions such as: "How pleasant do you find the blood collection with this device?" and "Would you use this device again in the future?"
You do not have to sign up in advance. When you attend your appointment, you can indicate that you want to participate.
What does it mean to participate?
Participating in this study means you will test the blood collection device and then fill out a short questionnaire about its usability. After your appointment, a nurse will ask you if you want to participate. This will take you 15 to 20 minutes.
The answers to the questionnaire will only be used for research purposes. The answers are not visible to the nurses, physician assistants or physicians. The questionnaire data will be linked to some data from the most recent STI consultation at the GGD, such as postal code, ethnicity, age and education level.
We want to emphasize that participation will not affect the care you receive at the GGD. You will receive the results of the regular STI tests that were done in the consultation preceding this study. You will not receive the results of the blood samples taken with the new device.
The GGD 'en in Limburg are currently using self-sampling tests for STI and HIV for men who (also) have sex with men. The self-sampling tests require swabs to be taken from various body sites and blood to be drawn by finger prick. Challenges exist for collecting sufficient blood with a finger prick.
A method of blood collection is available that can collect blood using a lancet and a vacuum system. The device is placed on the upper arm. Previous research indicates that this method is suitable for self-sampling for testing for anti-SARS-CoV-2-IGg antibodies* and preliminary results from the United States indicate acceptance and suitability for testing for syphilis, HIV and kidney function*. This could perhaps make this method suitable for PrEP users in the future.
*Hendelman T, Chaudhary A, LeClair AC, van Leuven K, Chee J, Fink SL, Welch EJ, Berthier E, Quist BA, Wald A, Wener MH, Hoofnagle AN, Morishima C. Self-collection of capillary blood using Tasso-SST devices for Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody testing. PLoS One. 2021 Sep 2;16(9): e0255841.
*Cannon C, Malinski C, Golden M. (2021, 14-17 juli). P113 Acceptability and Preferences for Using a Novel Device to Self-Collect Blood Specimens for HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Laboratory Monitoring [Paperpresentatie]. STI&HIV World Congress 2021, the online edition from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Beschikbaar via: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/sextrans-2021-sti.235