Project Tech Support uses real-time text messaging to reduce both methamphetamine use and high-risk sexual behaviors among men who have sex with men.
Patients enrolled in Project Tech Support receive daily text messages from Project Tech Support staff. These messages are designed to provide information about risky health behaviors, safer behaviors, and substance use or HIV-related community resources. Additionally, the text messages promote self-efficacy and provide emotional and instrumental support. Messages are sent during times of day when patients may be at risk for methamphetamine use or unprotected sex. Patients can also contact staff by text with questions or to obtain referrals to other services.
Social Support Theory
Health Belief Model
Social Cognitive Theory
Reduce methamphetamine use
Reduce high-risk sexual behaviors
Young Adults (18-30)
Los Angeles County
Summary: In this pilot feasibility study, 52 methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men (MSM) were recruited in Los Angeles county. All participants reported both methamphetamine use and unprotected sex during the previous two months, and were not currently enrolled in any treatment programs. Using a before-and-after study design, participants were assessed and then given access to the text messaging intervention for two weeks. Participants were assessed again 12 weeks post-baseline. At 12 weeks, 96% of participants completed the program and returned for the follow-up assessment. The frequency of methamphetamine use and unprotected sex with a non-partner decreased significantly from baseline to 12 weeks. While 21% of participants reported injecting methamphetamine at baseline, only 8% reported injection after completion of the program. Despite these decreases, there were no significant changes in the percent of methamphetamine positive toxicology tests or the frequency of unprotected sex with a partner.
Take Away: A text messaging intervention to reduce HIV risk behaviors among MSM appears to be feasible. While results provide initial evidence for the potential efficacy of this intervention for self-reported injection methamphetamine use among MSM, the intervention did not impact use biomarkers or risky sexual behaviors. Larger controlled studies are needed.