Objective: To assess and compare current disease related behavioural and sociodemographic characteristics of male gonorrhoea patients in the greater area of Athens, Greece.
Methods: A 3 year cross sectional hospital based study (1999–2001) of 280 consecutive symptomatic male volunteers, comprising 212 Greek and immigrant heterosexuals and 68 men having sex with men (MSM) was carried out. Temporal alterations were approximated by comparisons with a previous observation period (1990–6).
Results: Health seeking behaviour, rate of partner change, source of infection categorisation, and having sex while symptomatic were unrelated to sexual orientation. A delayed health seeking behaviour and higher rates of partner change were significantly associated with contacts while symptomatic. Immigrant heterosexuals were of lower socioeconomic level and contracted gonorrhoea from higher risk partners. Greek MSM were younger than heterosexuals and more frequently disease/STD repeaters. The percentage of MSM (24.3%) is considerably higher than that in a previous observation period (5.5%, 1984–96).
Conclusions: Preventive interventions among MSM, immigrants, and promiscuous heterosexuals must be intensified.