Sydney’s gay men are seeking sexual health testing more often, but are focused on HIV and forgetting other STIs.
National Centre in HIV Social Research academic Iryna Zablotska found new STI testing guidelines and education campaigns were helping boost the overall testing rate among HIV-negative men.
However, this level of testing remains inadequate for the control of STIs and prevention of HIV, Zablotska reported to the Sexual Health Conference in Perth.
For STI screening to deliver any significant sexual health dividend, appropriate and comprehensive screening is essential.
The increase in testing in NSW corresponded to an increase in bacterial STIs among gay men. Men who had a higher number of casual sex partners were more likely to get tested for STIs, as were men engaging in unprotected anal sex.
HIV-positive men were more likely to test for STIs than men who were HIV-negative.
A third of men in the periodic survey had not been tested in the previous year.