Objective: To describe the service use of migrants from 8 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries at two central London genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics before and after accession to the European Union on 1 May 2004.
Methods: KC60 data collected by two central London GUM clinics between 1 June 2001 and 30 April 2007. Data refer to new attendances and excludes those attending for follow-up appointments.
Results: 102,604 people attended the clinics at least once over the study period. Between May 2006 and 30 April 2007 persons born in the 8 CEE countries accounted for 7.9% of attendances among women and 2.5% of attendances made by men; the proportion increasing significantly over the 6-year study period (p<0.0001). Syphilis was more likely to be diagnosed in CEE men (age-adjusted OR: 2.98, 95%CI 1.07-8.29); and family planning services were more likely to be required for CEE women (23.9% vs. 12.4%, age-adjusted OR2.33, 95%CI 2.02-2.68, p<0.0001), than for those born elsewhere. A larger proportion of men from CEE countries were recorded as homosexual or bisexual than men from other countries (38.3% vs. 31.9%, p=0.003).
Conclusions: This study shows that CEE migrants are already having a substantial impact on GUM services in London. If attendance rates continue at the current level women born in Central and Eastern Europe will soon account for over 10% of all new attendances. Whilst the majority of CEE migrants are male, proportionately fewer CEE men accessed GUM services than women. Sexual and reproductive health services need to adapt quickly to ensure the sexual and reproductive health needs of this growing population are met.
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