Aims In the UK, HIV+ve men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected with sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STIs can enhance HIV transmission. We examined factors associated with STIs diagnoses and partner notification, and explored preferred methods for STIs notification among HIV+ve MSM.
Methods 429 HIV+ve MSM attending a central London HIV clinic completed a computer-assisted survey (May–September 2010). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted.
Results 86% men (368/429) were sexually active in the last year. Of these sexually active men, 84% (305/362) had tested for STIs. Among men who tested for STIs, 57% (174/305) reported engaging in unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) and 32% (98/305) were diagnosed with STIs. UAI, particularly non-concordant unprotected anal intercourse, age <35 years, concurrent sexual partnerships were independently associated with STIs diagnoses. 58% men had notified ¡Ý1 partner following STIs diagnosis. Being employed, born in the UK, concerns about breach of HIV confidentiality were negatively associated; while clinic advice and support were positively associated with partner notification following STIs diagnosis. 79% (339/429) men reported willingness to notify partners of STIs in the future. Of these, 76% men were willing to notify a boyfriend themselves. 11% men expressed preference for provider referral. Most men were willing to notify regular partners by phone. Men expressed willingness to notify casual partners by phone, text message, or anonymous provider-led methods.
Conclusions The high level of risky sexual behaviour, STIs diagnosis and its association with non-concordant unprotected anal intercourse among HIV+ve MSM suggests that partner notification provides opportunities for HIV and STIs case-finding and treatment. The offer of a choice of notification methods to HIV+ve MSM, particularly young men and men with multiple/concurrent, casual partners, may override personal, partnership, and structural barriers to partner notification.