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Willingness to change behaviours to reduce the risk of pharyngeal gonorrhoea transmission and acquisition in men who have sex with men: a cross-sectional survey

Abstract

Objectives The aim of this study was to examine the willingness of men who have sex with men (MSM) to change their behaviours to potentially reduce the risk of pharyngeal gonorrhoea transmission and acquisition.

Methods A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted among MSM attending the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Australia, between March and September 2015. Participants were asked how likely they would change their behaviours to reduce the risk of pharyngeal gonorrhoea. Six different potential preventive interventions were asked: (1) stop tongue kissing; (2) stop having receptive oral sex; (3) stop performing rimming; (4) stop using saliva as a lubricant during anal sex; (5) use of condoms during oral sex; and (6) use of alcohol-containing mouthwash daily.

Results Of the 926 MSM who completed the questionnaire, 65.4% (95% CI 62.3% to 68.5%) expressed they were likely to use mouthwash daily to reduce the risk of pharyngeal gonorrhoea, 63.0% (95% CI 59.8% to 66.1%) would stop using saliva as a lubricant, and 49.5% (95% CI 46.2% to 52.7%) would stop rimming. In contrast, 77.6% (95% CI 74.8% to 80.3%) of MSM expressed they were unlikely to stop tongue kissing. MSM who were younger and had less male partners expressed they were unlikely to use mouthwash daily as an intervention to reduce risk of pharyngeal gonorrhoea acquisition.

Conclusions The practices MSM are willing to change to reduce the risk of pharyngeal gonorrhoea transmission and acquisition vary greatly; however, the majority of men are likely to use mouthwash daily to reduce the risk of pharyngeal gonorrhoea.

  • Men who have sex with men
  • behaviours
  • harm reduction
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