For Sex Now 2021, survey participants (18 years and older) had the option to take part in the [email protected] research program and receive up to three free HIVST kits. Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated ongoing challenges and barriers to health service access, CBRC partnered with REACH Nexus to launch the [email protected] project. This project enabled participants to test from home, or another place of their choosing, and receive an HIV result within a minute. The project encouraged GBT2Q people to develop agency over their own health through non-traditional methods of testing, while also aiming to understand the best ways to effectively implement this new testing technology (Sex Now 2021, n.d.).
The Test Now Buddies (TNB) program is a trial peer support initiative designed to complement the [email protected] program. Once participants received an HIVST kit, they were contacted by a “buddy” who offered peer support, answered participant questions, and sent follow-up surveys over a six-month period. The purpose of TNB is to connect participants to peer support and offer guidance in how to use the HIVST kit correctly. Buddies also connect participants with HIV and STBBI prevention/care resources (confirmation testing, HIV prevention tools), connect them with other relevant resources, like mental health support, and collect survey data on the experiences of participants who use the test (CBRC Launch Videos to Promote New HIV Self-Testing Technology and End Stigma, n.d.).