Background/introduction Locally, there is a large population of MSM. MSM have high and increasing rates of STIs and HIV: sexual health services should be accessible and MSM focussed.
Aim(s)/objectives The aims of this study were to assess patients’ satisfaction with the current services, preferences on staff gender, preferences on self-taken rectal and throat swabs, and the need for a specialist MSM service.
Methods Patient satisfaction survey of MSM attending four MSM-services in our city (hospital-based STI clinic and HIV clinic, a local non-government organisation (Terence Higgins Trust) and a walk-in primary care centre). Data were analysed using SPSS.
Results 246 MSM completed surveys between January–March 2014. The median age was 35 years (18–79). Most MSM (92.3%) self-identified as gay, 7.3% as bisexual and 0.4% as other. 12.7% self-identified as HIV-positive, 61.1% HIV-negative, 20.0% unsure and 5.7% never tested. 206/246 (83.7%) did not have a staff gender preference, the male: female staff preference was 35:5/246 (14.2%:2.0%). 113/227 (49.8%) would welcome self-taken rectal/throat swabs. 101/232 (43.5%) would prefer to be seen in a specialist MSM service. Overall, there was no significant difference in preference between HIV-positive and HIV-negative/unsure/never tested. The overall satisfaction with reception staff was 95.5% (outstanding/good) and 99.1% with doctor/nurse (outstanding/good).
Discussion/conclusion Overall, there is high satisfaction with sexual health services currently provided to MSM locally. Most patients do not have a staff gender preference but almost half of MSM would prefer a specialist service. We concluded that offering self-taken rectal and throat swabs would be acceptable for many MSM patients.
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