P95 Attitudes to sexual history taking and STI screening in a non-sexual health delivered HIV service
Background An audit within our HIV service failed to meet national sexual health targets. Barriers to sexual history (SHx) taking and STI screening include fear of causing offence. This may be more so in HIV services delivered by non-sexual health clinicians.
Aim To determine patients' attitudes to SHx taking and STI screening in an infectious diseases-led HIV service.
Methods An anonymous, semi-structured questionnaire was offered to all clinic attendees from September-December 2011. Data collected included demographics, HIV history, sexual history and attitudes to SHx taking and STI screening.
Results Of the 101 questionnaires returned; 68% were male and almost two thirds were aged 26–40. 30% were MSM. 35% were in sero-discordant regular relationships. 37% had one partner in the last year and 15% had >1. 35% had a previous STI. 94% agreed with regular syphilis and hepatitis B (HBV) testing. 40% would have declined STI screening if offered; 26% of these were MSM, 16% had >1 partner in the last year and 34% had ≥1 past STI. Only 62% recalled being asked about sex. Preferred sites for sexual health consultations are detailed in abstract P95 table 1.
Conclusions Most patients found regular HBV and syphilis testing acceptable, however 40% would decline STI screening indicating that they may be uninformed about STIs, be uncertain of their risk and misperceive the invasiveness of STI screening. Most patients found the HIV clinic a preferable site for both SHx taking and STI screening. Specific sexual health training should be delivered to clinicians in non-sexual health led HIV services in order to improve the sexual health of HIV patients.