High Sexually Transmitted Infection Rates Spur Condom Debate

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have been on the upswing among gay and bisexual men over the past several years. Some have hypothesized that PrEP use among HIV-negative men, and treatment as prevention among HIV-positive men, have led gay and bi men to stop using condoms. This, in turn, has contributed to rising STI rates in recent years.

At the recent IDWeek 2016 conference in New Orleans, researchers debated these difficult-to-parse points. And, they presented data to try and answer the question -- what's causing the rising STI rates? And, do rising STI rates mean that we should be promoting condom use for everyone?

Rising STI Rates

Nationwide data included in the CDC's latest Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance report, released last month, shows that chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are at their highest levels ever. Young people, and gay men, are most heavily impacted. The syphilis rate among gay and bisexual men is 309 cases per 100,000, compared with just 2.9 per 100,000 among heterosexual men, according to new state-level data released at the recent STD Prevention Conference. The latest data from San Francisco show a steep climb in gonorrhea and syphilis among both HIV-positive and HIV-negative gay and bisexual men.

This excerpt was cross-posted with the permission of BETAblog.org. Read the full article.