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Risk factors leading to Cryptosporidium infection in men who have sex with men
  1. M Hellard1,2,
  2. J Hocking2,
  3. J Willis1,
  4. G Dore3,
  5. C Fairley1,4
  1. 1Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  2. 2Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health, Melbourne, Australia
  3. 3National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  4. 4Department of Public Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Margaret Hellard, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash Medical School, Alfred Hospital, Commercial Road, Melbourne, 3004, Australia; 


Objectives: Cryptosporidiosis is a devastating illness in people with HIV/AIDS yet there have been no analytical epidemiological studies measuring risk factors leading to cryptosporidiosis in men who have sex with men (MSM). The objective of this study was to measure the risk factors for exposure to Cryptosporidium among MSM.

Methods: The study was a case-control design. It recruited MSM who had laboratory confirmed Cryptosporidium infection between 1997 and 2000. Participants answered a questionnaire about potential risk factors leading to exposure to Cryptosporidium.

Results: 10 cases and 24 controls were recruited. Men having more than one sexual partner in the past month were more likely to have had Cryptosporidium diarrhoea p=0.034 (OR 6.67, CI (1.15 to 38.60). Insertive anal sex (p=0.059) and attending a sex venue one or more times (p=0.059) also increased the odds of having cryptosporidiosis.

Conclusion: The study results suggest that sexual behaviour is a significant risk factor for cryptosporidial diarrhoea in MSM. The results will be used to inform risk groups about behaviours that may put them at increased risk of cryptosporidial diarrhoea.

  • Cryptosporidium
  • MSM

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