Health Care Access and STI Screening Frequency Among at-Risk MSM in Mass.

Among a population of Massachusetts men who have sex with men (MSM), the researchers set out to assess risk exposures, access to health care, and screening rates for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A modified respondent-driven sampling method was used to collect data between March 2006 and May 2007.

A total of 126 MSM completed the survey. Unprotected receptive anal intercourse with at least one non-monogamous male partner was reported by 70 percent of the men. Fifty percent reported having had a previous STI. In the preceding year, 98 percent had visited a health care provider; however, 39 percent reported no screening for STIs in the previous two years.

The results showed bisexual respondents were less likely to have told their providers they engaged in male-to-male sex (odds ratio [OR]=4.66; P<.001), less likely to have been tested for STIs during the previous two years (OR=6.91; P<.001) and more likely to engage in insertive anal intercourse without a condom with an HIV-positive partner (OR=5.04; P<.005) than were non-bisexual respondents.

"Clinicians need to assess sexual risk-taking behaviors and more routinely screen for STIs among sexually active men regardless of disclosure of a history of having sex with men," the authors concluded.