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
- harm reduction
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Contributors CKF conceived the idea that Listerine may be used as an alternative intervention to reduce the risk of pharyngeal gonorrhoea. EPFC and CKF contributed to the conception and design of this study. EPFC performed the data analysis and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. SW coordinated the study, was involved in study recruitment and assisted with data management. TP was involved in data management including data collection, data entry and data cleaning. All authors were involved in data interpretation, revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content and approved the final version.
Funding This work was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) programme grant (number 568971). EPFC is supported by the NHMRC Early Career Fellowship (number 1091226).
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Informed consent was implied by receipt of completed questionnaires.
Ethics approval Alfred Hospital Ethics Committee (544/14).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.