Introduction Little is known about male sexual assault victims (SAV), frequency of health care seeking after such assaults and the prevalence of sexual transmitted infections (STI). The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of STI among male SAV attending the STI clinic of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Methods In the electronic patient database, sexual assault (SA) is recorded as one of the reasons for visiting the clinic. We collected routine clinical data from the period 2005–2016. Characteristics and STI screening results of SAV and non-victims (NV) were compared. Backward multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess whether SAV was associated with STI positivity (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, infectious syphilis, infectious hepatitis B, and/or HIV).
Results Between 2005 and 2016 194,954 STI consultations were performed with male clients and in 135 (0.07%) consultations SA was reported. In 92% of the assaults no condom was used. In 91% of cases the assailant was a male. Forensic examination was performed in 13% of the cases. Prior to the STI clinic consultation, in 19% an HIV test had been performed and 35% were vaccinated against hepatitis B. SAV were less often Dutch (54% vs. 63% in NV, p=0.027), the median age was 28 years (vs. 30 in NV, p=0.20), and 28% reported STI related complaints (vs. 34% in NV, p=0.15). In the 6 months preceding the STI clinic visit, 56% of the male victims reported homosexual contacts only (vs. 39% in NV, p<0.001). STI positivity was 12.6% in SAV and 18.4% in NV (p=0.080). In multivariable analysis being an SAV was associated with a lower risk of STI (OR 0.51; 95% CI 0.51–0.86).
Conclusion Over twelve years, 135 male clients reported an SA. The majority of the sexual assaults posed a risk to contract an STI (no condom use and male assailant). SAV had a significant lower risk to test STI positive than NV attending the STI clinic. As most victims were not tested for HIV, and did not receive a hepatitis B vaccination after the assault, STI clinics can play a key role in providing care to SAV including STI testing.
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