Knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding syphilis screening among men who have sex with men in san francisco

Kenneth A. Katz, Henry Raymond, Kyle T. Bernstein, Jeffrey D. Klausner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Syphilis screening for men who have sex with men (MSM) in San Francisco (SF) is recommended every 3 to 6 months. We surveyed MSM in SF to determine the prevalence and factors associated with complying with that recommendation, identify screening barriers, and investigate whether identifying low perceived syphilis risk as a reason for not testing correlated with syphilis risk factors. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey as part of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System. We used logistic regression to analyze factors associated with complying with the SF-specific screening recommendation and with identifying low perceived risk as a reason for not testing. We analyzed data on screening barriers descriptively. RESULTS: Among 441 MSM, 37.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 31.5%-43.6%) complied with the recommendation. Compliance was associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection (odds ratio [OR], 3.6; 95% CI, 1.7-7.8), more than 10 male sex partners (OR, 4.3; 95% CI, 1.6-12.0), having unprotected anal sex with a casual partner (OR, 4.2; 95% CI, 2.0-8.9), and knowing the recommendation (OR, 4.1; 95% CI, 2.1-8.2). Low perceived risk, time constraints, and not knowing that one should get screened were identified as reasons for not testing by 61.7%, 18.9%, and 18.8%, respectively. Identifying low perceived risk as a reason for not testing was associated with having more than 10 sex partners (OR, 0.2; 95% CI, 0.1-0.5). CONCLUSIONS: Attempts to improve compliance with the syphilis screening recommendation should include education regarding recommended screening frequency and syphilis risk factors and interventions to increase screening convenience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-322
Number of pages5
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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