Medical News

STD/HIV Risk Among Adults in the Primary Care Setting: Are We Adequately Addressing Our Patients' Needs?

April 11, 2011

The authors noted that risk behavior surveys often target STD clinic patients, but less research addresses risk behaviors in primary care settings. The current cross-sectional study was performed at a university adult primary care clinic and evaluated risk behaviors using an anonymous, self-administered survey. The data collected included demographics, sexual history, condom use and confidence discussing STDs.


The respondents were predominately female (69 percent) and black (67 percent); in all, 718 surveys were completed. Forty-four percent said they had never been asked about their sexual health by a primary care provider, and 18 percent said they had never had a gender-specific genital examination.

Among the 394 persons reporting sexual activity in the previous three months, 58 percent said they never used a condom, and 33 percent stated their intention not to use a condom during their next sexual encounter. Approximately one-third had never been tested for HIV and did not know their partner's HIV status. A history of STD was reported by one-third, while 32 percent said they felt uncomfortable talking about STDs with their primary care provider.

"Our data demonstrate that sexual health is infrequently addressed despite high rates of previous STDs and low condom use in this population," the authors concluded. "Identifying barriers to determining sexual risk behaviors in the primary care setting will help to expand testing strategies for HIV and other STDs."

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Adapted from:
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
01.01.2011; Vol. 38; No. 1: P. 30-32; Diana Nurutdinova; Shilpa Rao; Enbal Shacham; Hillary Reno; Edgar Turner Overton

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.

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