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O7 Depression and sexual behaviour among men who have sex with men in the UK
  1. Ada Miltz1,
  2. Alison Rodger1,
  3. Janey Sewell1,
  4. Andrew Speakman1,
  5. Andrew Phillips1,
  6. Lorraine Sherr1,
  7. Richard Gilson1,2,
  8. David Asboe3,
  9. Nneka Nwokolo4,
  10. Christopher Scott5,
  11. Sara Day3,
  12. Martin Fisher6,
  13. Amanda Clarke6,
  14. Jane Anderson7,
  15. Rebecca O’Connell8,
  16. Monica Lascar9,
  17. Vanessa Apea10,
  18. Rageshri Dhairyawan11,
  19. Mark Gompels12
  1. 1University College London, London, UK
  2. 2The Mortimer Market Centre, London, UK
  3. 3John Hunter Clinic, London, UK
  4. 4Dean Street Sexual Health Clinic, London, UK
  5. 5West London Centre for Sexual Health, London, UK
  6. 6Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, UK
  7. 7Homerton Hospital, London, UK
  8. 8Newham Hospital, London, UK
  9. 9Whipps Cross Hospital, London, UK
  10. 10Barts Sexual Health Centre/The London Hospital, London, UK
  11. 11Barking Hospital, London, UK
  12. 12Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK


Background/introduction In the UK, HIV transmission remains ongoing among men who have sex with men (MSM). Data on mental health and sexual behaviour is limited among MSM whose HIV-status is negative/unknown.

Aim(s)/objectives To describe the association of depressive symptoms with measures of condomless sex (CLS).

Methods AURAH (Attitudes to, and Understanding of, Risk of Acquisition of HIV) is a cross-sectional questionnaire study in 20 UK STI clinics. We included MSM recruited from May 2013–January 2014 who reported anal sex in the past three months. Depressive symptoms were defined as a PHQ-9 score ≥10. We examined the association of depressive symptoms with: CLS in the past three months with (i) ≥2 partners (ii) discordant status partner(s) (unknown/HIV-positive) and self-reported STI diagnosis in the past year, using logistic regression.

Results Of 457 MSM included (20% non-white, mean[IQR] age 33[13]), 130 (29%), 167 (37%) and 184 (40%) reported ≥2 CLS partners, discordant CLS and diagnosed STI respectively. Fifty-nine men (13%) had depressive symptoms; 78% of whom were not receiving treatment for depression. Adjusting for age, non-white ethnicity, university education, having a stable partner and recruitment region, depressive symptoms were associated with ≥2 CLS partners [adjusted OR (95% CI): 1.83 (1.01, 3.31), p = 0.048], discordant CLS [2.67 (1.49, 4.77), p = 0.001] and diagnosed STI [2.03 (1.13, 3.63), p = 0.017].

Discussion/conclusion Depressive symptoms are associated with CLS and recent STI among MSM. Management of mental health may play a role in HIV/STI prevention, although causality cannot be inferred and other factors may influence both sexual behaviour and depression.

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