An interactive video program designed to promote safer sex behaviors led to a considerable drop in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among men who have sex with men (MSM) in a recent study, aidsmap reports.

Publishing their findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers tested an interactive online program called Keep It Up! in a study including 901 MSM, most of whom were recruited in New York, Chicago and Atlanta. At the outset of their participation in the study, the participants were HIV negative and reported recent condomless anal intercourse.

A total of 445 of the men were randomized to receive the interactive intervention and 456 served as a control group, receiving straightforward text-based safer sex information instead of the video program.

Sixty-three percent of the men were Black or Latino.

Eleven percent of the control group started the study with gonorrhea or chlamydia; at the study’s 12-month mark, 14 percent had at least one of these STIs. In the intervention group, 18 percent started the study with gonorrhea or chlamydia, a figure that decreased to 9 percent after 12 months, leading the study authors to conclude that the video had reduced the risk of such STIs by 60 percent.

Looking at individual participants’ change in their STI rate over time, the investigators found that those in the control group had a 55 percent increase in their STI rate after one year, while those in the intervention group had a 51 percent decrease in their STI rate.

Sixty-nine percent of those in the control group reported recent condomless sex at the study’s outset, a figure that fell to 44 percent after one year. The corresponding rates for those in the intervention group were 68 percent and 37 percent.

To read the aidsmap article, click here.

To read the study, click here.