While self-reported rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the US were close to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommended overall annual screening frequency, gaps defined by demographics and behavioral risk remain. This according to a cross-sectional study of 2,572 MSM in the US aged 15-65 years in 2017-2018. Researchers measured the reported number of asymptomatic STI screens in the past 2 years vs tests prompted by disease symptoms. Estimated yearly rates of asymptomatic screening and symptomatic testing by geographic, demographic, and behavioral factors were then estimated. Among the findings:
- HIV status was most strongly associated with all testing/screening frequency (incidence odds ratio [IRR]=1.72).
- HIV-uninfected MSM had 0.14 symptomatic tests and 0.88 asymptomatic screens per year.
- HIV-infected MSM had 0.25 symptomatic tests and 1.53 asymptomatic screens per year.
- Rates of asymptomatic screening were higher among black compared to white MSM, but weakly associated with number of past-year sexual partners (IRR=1.01).
Jenness SM, Weiss KM, Prasad P, Zlotorzynska M, Sanchez T. Bacterial STI screening rates by symptomatic status among men who have sex with men in the United States: A hierarchical Bayesian analysis. [Published online ahead of print July 24, 2018]. Sex Transm Dis. doi:10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000896.
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