Self-reported Screening for Rectal Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Men who Have Sex with Men
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Background Rectal gonorrhea and chlamydia are common and predict HIV acquisition among men who have sex with men (MSM); however, screening for rectal sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is not routine.
Methods In 2017, we recruited sexually-active MSM in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area through venue-based sampling. Our outcome of interest was self-reported rectal STI screening in the prior 12 months among those who had a healthcare visit in the same time period. Stratified by HIV status and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use, we assessed the prevalence and predictors of screening.
Results Of 403 participants, 162 (40.2%) reported rectal STI screening. Sixty (25.7%) of 233 HIV-negative men who did not report PrEP use in the prior 12 months; 61 (69.3%) of the 88 HIV-negative men who reported PrEP use in the prior 12 months; and, 41 (59.4%) of 69 men living with HIV reported screening, respectively. Among HIV-negative men who did not report PrEP use in the prior 12 months, having a health care provider who offered HIV testing (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR]=2.21; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.38, 3.52) and condomless anal sex with casual partners in the prior 12 months (aPR=1.63; 95%CI: 1.01, 2.65) were independently associated with rectal STI screening. HIV-negative men on PrEP who had a syphilis diagnosis in the prior 12 months were more likely to be screened than those without syphilis (aPR=1.33; 95%CI:1.11, 1.59). Men living with HIV who reported having a provider who always or often initiates conversations about sex were more likely to report screening compared to men who did not have such a provider (aPR=1.46; 95%CI: 1.06, 2.03).
Conclusions Rectal STI screening is not universal in a venue-based sample of sexually-active MSM. Implementing innovative, acceptable, and accessible screening practices, enhancing health literacy around STI screening, and improving provider comfort with talking about sex are paramount to increasing rectal STI screening.
Locate the Document
Menza, T. W., Lipira, L., Bhattarai, A., Ramirez, F. J., & Orellana, E. R. (2019). Self-reported screening for rectal sexually transmitted infections among men who have sex with men. Sexually Transmitted Diseases.