Introduction BASHH guidance recommends screening for STIs up to every 3 months for individuals at risk of HIV. Conversely, commissioning pressures aim to reduce inappropriate attendances. We describe below the characteristics and outcomes of frequent attenders at our service.
Methods Notes review of individuals with 4 or more new or re-book attendance episodes at a central London sexual health service between 1st April 2015 and 31st March 2016.
Results 170 individuals received more than 4 new episodes of clinical care in a year; 145(85%) were male, 136 MSM. 21(12%) were female, 4(2.4%) transgender. 23(14%) of the patients were HIV positive, all MSM. Median age was 31 years. Median number of sexual partners in preceding 3 months was 6. 75(44%) disclosed chemsex activity in the preceding month.
In the 12 months from April 2015, there were 442 new STIs in this population, an average of 2.6 per patient: 346 STI diagnoses were in the 147 HIV-negative individuals and 96 in the 23 HIV-positive individuals. In HIV-negatives, the diagnosis was a rectal bacterial STI in 36% and syphilis in 7%. 206 courses of PEP were prescribed; 25 individuals received 4 or more PEP courses. There were 5 new diagnoses of blood borne virus infections; 2 hepatitis C, both in HIV positive MSM, and 3 HIV.
Discussion The majority of frequent attenders at our clinic had indicators of high risk sexual behaviour. The high number of STIs and PEP prescriptions implies that the frequent attendances are appropriate in this patient population.