Background Sexually transmitted infections are often diagnosed too late or not at all. The reason for this may not only be the unspecific or inconspicuous symptoms of many STIs. When it comes to “sexual subjects”, both physicians and patients are hesitant to discuss related concerns. This may result in important health risks not being addressed and vital diagnostic measures not being offered.
Methods Strengthening HIV and STI prevention in the healthcare system is the joint objective of an interdisciplinary work group established in 2006, consisting of representatives of the DAGNÄ [German Association of Practicing Physicians Treating HIV-Infected Patients], the DSTIG [German STI Society], the DAIG [German AIDS Society], the BZgA [Federal Centre for Health Education] and Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe [German AIDS Service Organisation]. Based on a qualitative survey interviewing in 2009, investigating the expectations of physicians and patients for preventive consultations, a further training for physicians was developed.
Results The evaluation of 16 workshops held in 2012 confirmed a central result of the former qualitative survey: The majority saw greatest benefit in workshop modules that allocate opportunities to discuss the correlation between sexual identities, lifestyles and prevention behaviour. Role-playing-units received a particularly positive rating. Basic facts about diagnostic of STIs and information about present-days life of PLWH got a positive voting especially by doctors who do not deal regularly with HIV/STIs. Occasionally, the wish for a structured conversation guide was expressed as well.
Conclusion Our experiences with the trainings leads to the development of a three-pillar model. Firstly: Extending the ability to communicate about sexuality without prejudice as the basic prerequisite for talking about STIs. Secondly: Communicate simple, target group-specific STI diagnostics geared to sexual practises. Thirdly: Offering optional, setting-oriented conversation guides.
- community based research
- further education
- prevention KL01,
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