Background/objectives: Higher levels of sexual risk behaviours have been reported in HIV positive than in HIV negative homosexual men. In clinic based studies, higher rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have also been reported. We compared rates of common STIs between HIV positive and HIV negative homosexual men from two ongoing community based cohort studies in Sydney, Australia.
Methods: Participants in the two cohorts were recruited using similar community based strategies. They were interviewed face to face annually after enrolment. Comprehensive sexual health screening, including hepatitis A and B, syphilis, gonorrhoea, and chlamydia (in urethra and anus) was offered to participants in both cohorts.
Results: In participants in the HIV positive cohort, 75% were hepatitis A seropositive, 56% had serological evidence of previous or current hepatitis B infection, and 24% had evidence of vaccination against hepatitis B infection. 19% of men tested positive for syphilis and 4% had evidence of recent infections. Compared with men in the HIV negative cohort, after adjustment for age, HIV positive participants had significantly higher prevalence of previous or current hepatitis B infection, syphilis, and anal gonorrhoea.
Conclusion: This finding supports the need for frequent STI testing in HIV positive men to prevent morbidity and to decrease the risk of ongoing HIV transmission.
- EIA, enzyme immunoassay
- HIM, Health in Men
- pH, Positive Health
- SDA, strand displacement amplification
- STIs, sexually transmitted infections
- sexually transmitted infections
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Source of support: The National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research and the National Centre in HIV Social Research are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. The Health in Men Cohort study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, a component of the US Department of Health and Human Services (NIH/NIAID/DAIDS: HVDDT Award N01-AI-05395), the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia (Project grant No 400944), the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (Canberra), and the New South Wales Health Department (Sydney). The Positive Health Cohort study was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (Canberra) and the New South Wales Health Department (Sydney). The materials for gonorrhoea and chlamydia testing were provided by Becton Dickinson Pty Ltd.
Conflict of interest: none.