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Sex Transm Infect 89:223-230 doi:10.1136/sextrans-2012-050605
  • Behaviour
  • Original article

Sexually transmitted infection testing and self-reported diagnoses among a community sample of men who have sex with men, in Scotland

Open Access
  1. Paul Flowers2
  1. 1MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Medical Research Council, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2Department of Psychology and Allied Health Sciences, School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lisa M McDaid, MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Medical Research Council, 4 Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow G12 8RZ, UK; l.mcdaid{at}sphsu.mrc.ac.uk
  • Accepted 3 September 2012
  • Published Online First 5 October 2012

Abstract

Introduction To examine sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and self-reported diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM), in Scotland.

Methods Cross-sectional survey of seven Glasgow gay bars in July 2010 (n=822, 62% response rate); 693 are included in the analyses.

Results 81.8% reported ever having had an STI test; 37.4% had tested in the previous 6 months; 13.2% reported having an STI in the previous 12 months. The adjusted odds of having ever tested were significantly higher for men who had 6+ sexual partners in the previous 12 months (adjusted OR=2.66), a maximum sexual health knowledge score (2.23), and had talked to an outreach worker/participated in counselling (1.96), and lower for men reporting any high-risk unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) in the previous 12 months (0.51). Adjusted odds of recent testing were higher for men who had 6+ sexual partners (2.10), talked to an outreach worker/participated in counselling (1.66), maximum sexual health knowledge (1.59), and higher condom use knowledge (1.04), and lower for men aged ≥25 years (0.46). Adjusted odds of having had an STI in the previous 12 months were higher for men who had 6+ sexual partners (3.96) and any high-risk UAI in the previous 12 months (2.24) and lower for men aged ≥25 years (0.57).

Conclusions STI testing rates were relatively high, yet still below the minimum recommended for MSM at high risk. Consideration should be given to initiating recall systems for men who test positive for STIs, and to developing behavioural interventions which seek to address STI transmission.

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