Background/introduction Guidelines highlight the need to increase HIV testing amongst men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) as a priority and recommend MSM at high risk of HIV test for every three months. Novel point of care testing (POCT) provides new possibilities for delivery of care. However, it is unclear how POCT should be used to best effect.
Aim(s)/objectives This study aimed to increase understanding of sexual risk-taking behaviour, service use and attitudes to POCT amongst sauna clients.
Methods Data were collected within two saunas for MSM in south west England using a self-completion survey on a computer tablet device.
Results 134 men participated (74% response rate). Half of participants (51%) reported unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with a casual partner in the previous three months. For those reporting UAI, 19% reported having an STI test and 16% had taken an HIV test in the previous three months. Participants reported they would be more likely to be tested for HIV (84%), gonorrhoea (91%), chlamydia (90%) and syphilis (90%) if available as rapid POCT to avoid a stressful wait. The majority of men (52%) would prefer to receive POCT at NHS sexual health clinics.
Discussion/conclusion Though this sample of sauna clients are at high risk of acquiring an STI, the testing frequency amongst the majority of those reporting UAI is not in keeping with national guidelines. For almost all participants the introduction of rapid POCT for both genital and blood-borne infection was likely to increase testing and for the majority NHS specialist services was the preferred setting.