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Sexual Health

Sexual Health

Volume 12 Number 4 2015


We explore the age-based pattern of genital warts among Australian women who have not been vaccinated for human papillomavirus (HPV). The age-based pattern of genital warts is consistent with the pattern of any HPV prevalence, suggesting that behavioural factors may explain the changes in HPV occurrence.

SH14236Women’s views on human papillomavirus self-sampling: focus groups to assess acceptability, invitation letters and a test kit in the Australian setting

Farhana Sultana, Robyn Mullins, Michael Murphy, Dallas R. English, Julie A. Simpson, Kelly T. Drennan, Stella Heley, C. David Wrede, Julia M. L. Brotherton, Marion Saville and Dorota M. Gertig
pp. 279-286

The study provides insights into the information needs of never- and under-screened women and their opinion of HPV self-sampling as a possible alternative to Pap test. We identify perceived barriers to HPV self-sampling through focus group evaluation of communication materials and the test kit for a trial of HPV self-sampling in Australia. Such information is timely given that many countries, including Australia, will be moving to primary HPV testing where self-sampling for HPV testing will be reserved for those who decline a physician-collected sample.

SH14045Sexual behaviours, sex toy and sexual safety methods reported by women who have sex with women and men

Vanessa Schick, Brian Dodge, Barbara Van Der Pol, Aleta Baldwin and J. Dennis Fortenberry
pp. 287-299

Women who reported recent genital contact with a woman and man (WSWM) in the past year were invited to participate in this mixed-method study. Participants (n=80) completed an online survey about their lifetime sexual behavior and safety strategies followed by a detailed in-person timeline follow back interview (the SEQUENCE© calendar) about their sexual partnerships over the previous year. Participants reported very diverse sexual repertoires with few reporting latex barrier method use outside of penile intercourse. The relationship between various behaviours and STI is also explored. Results suggest the importance of sexual safety messages that highlight barrier method use during diverse sexual activities (beyond penile intercourse) regardless of partner gender.

SH14186Lubricant use at last sexual encounter with a male partner: findings from a nationally representative sample of self-identified gay and bisexual men in the United States

Brian Dodge, Randolph D. Hubach, Vanessa Schick, Debby Herbenick, Michael Reece, Stephanie A. Sanders and J. Dennis Fortenberry
pp. 300-307

Previous studies that have examined lubricant use among gay and bisexual men have done so in the context of sexual risk, relying on convenience sampling for participant recruitment. This study explores event-level lubricant use with most recent male partner and related factors among a nationally representative sample of self-identified gay and bisexual men from the United States. The majority of participants who used lubricant with their last male partner reported doing so during anal intercourse; bisexual men were less likely to use lubricant use than gay men. Future sexual health promotion programmes for gay and bisexual men should include information on lubricant use and its potential to facilitate both sexual protection as well as pleasure.

SH15064Online self-management for gay men living with HIV: a pilot study

Tanya Millard, Karalyn McDonald, Sonya Girdler, Sean Slavin and Julian Elliot
pp. 308-314

This paper reports on the findings of the pilot phase of the Positive Outlook Study. The program was based on self-efficacy theory and used a self-management approach to enhance participants’ skills, confidence and ability to manage the psychosocial aspects of HIV in their daily lives. Two pilot studies were conducted; an initial feasibility study followed by a pilot randomised controlled study. The findings indicate the feasiblity and acceptibbility of the program among gay men living with HIV and justify the need for a further study with a larger sample size.

SH15001Influence of stigma and homophobia on mental health and on the uptake of HIV/sexually transmissible infection services for Cameroonian men who have sex with men

Charles W. Cange, Matthew LeBreton, Serge Billong, Karen Saylors, Ubald Tamoufe, Erin Papworth, Yves Yomb and Stefan Baral
pp. 315-321

This study investigates the effect of stigma, discrimination and alienation on Cameroonian men who have sex with men's (MSM) engagement of the HIV treatment cascade. Using qualitative interviews, Cameroonian MSM were asked to describe MSM knowledge of existing HIV-related services in public and MSM-focussed non-governmental organisation clinics. Most participants observed limited clinical and cultural competency of public clinic staff. MSM recounted their alienation greatly discouraged them from seeking HIV prevention, treatment and care services. A broader stigma-reduction intervention for Cameroonian healthcare workers may increase the uptake of HIV prevention, treatment and care among MSM.

SH15019Influence of sexual arousability on partner communication mediators of condom use among African American female adolescents

Andrea Swartzendurber, Sarah H. Murray, Jessica M. Sales, Robin R. Milhausen, Stephanie A. Sanders, Cynthia A. Graham, Ralph J. DiClemente and Gina M. Wingood
pp. 322-327

Among African American female adolescents, this study examined associations between arousability, one’s propensity for sexual arousal, and sexual partner communication mediators of condom use. Greater arousability was found to be associated with reduced levels of each measure of partner communication assessed. Traditional sexual risk reduction interventions typically fail to recognise aspects of pleasure and enjoyment in sexual experiences. A public orientation towards sexual health may decrease stigma and facilitate sexual partner communication and may ultimately be more effective than traditional approaches in reducing high rates of sexually transmitted infections among American adolescents.

SH14221Perception of primary male sexual partners’ characteristics and women’s history of sexually transmissible infections in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ly T. Tran, Thanh C. Bui, Vy T. Pham, Christine M. Markham, Alan G. Nyitray, Michael D. Swartz, Loi T. Tran and Lu-Yu Hwang
pp. 328-335

Evidence regarding whether male partners’ characteristics can influence women’s likelihood of getting sexually transmissible infections (STIs) is insufficient and inconsistent. We found that an increased risk for STIs in women was associated with both individual characteristics and their primary male partner’s behavioural risk factors. Therefore, primary male partners’ risk factors should be included in STI risk assessments, treatment and interventions for women.

SH14216Analysis of direct-to-consumer marketed Chlamydia trachomatis diagnostic tests in Norway

Nils Reinton, Stig Ove Hjelmevoll, Håkon Håheim, Kjersti Garstad, Lisa Therese Mørch-Reiersen and Amir Moghaddam
pp. 336-340

Testing for Chlamydia trachomatis is free and readily available through public health services in Norway. Nevertheless, an internet company and a pharmacy chain sell home sampling C. trachomatis tests to consumers. Analysis from the service laboratory that performs the laboratory tests for the internet company and the pharmacy chain shows that prevalence of C. trachomatis in these two populations is higher than populations that are tested through primary physicians and STI clinics.

SH14240Reasons for delays in treatment of bacterial sexually transmissible infections in remote Aboriginal communities in Australia: a qualitative study of healthcentre staff

Belinda Hengel, Lisa Maher, Linda Garton, James Ward, Alice Rumbold, Debbie Taylor-Thomson, Bronwyn Silver, Skye McGregor, Amalie Dyda, Janet Knox, John Kaldor, Rebecca Guy and on behalf of the STRIVE Investigators
pp. 341-347

Remote Australian Aboriginal communities experience high rates of bacterial sexually transmissible infections (STIs). To control the transmission and decrease the risk of complications, frequent STI testing combined with timely treatment is required, yet significant delays in treatment have been reported. As part of the STI in Remote communities, Improved and Enhanced Primary Health Care (STRIVE) project; a large cluster randomised controlled trial of a sexual health quality improvement program, qualitative research was conducted to investigate health centre staff’s perceived barriers to providing timely treatment. Participants identified barriers related to the distance to the laboratories and infrequent transportation, as well as systems to action results and difficulties in physically locating patients due to high mobility between communities and low levels of community knowledge due to high staff turnover and no AHP in some services.

SH14214Early diagnosis of HIV among men who have sex with men in Western Australia: impact of a peer-led sexually transmissible infection testing service

Byron C. Minas, Carolien M. Giele, Sue C. Laing, Lisa Bastian, Andrew W. Burry, Kurt J. Sales and Donna B. Mak
pp. 360-363

In July 2010, the Western Australia (WA) AIDS Council established the ‘M Clinic’, a peer-led STI testing service for men who have sex with men (MSM). Since the M Clinic commenced operation the number and proportion of MSM HIV notifications that were newly acquired in WA significantly increased with the peer-led clinic diagnosing 30% (n = 21) of all newly acquired HIV among MSM in WA in the 2011–2013 period. A peer-led approach to HIV testing should be considered in order to achieve early diagnosis and treatment of HIV among MSM.

SH15050Acceptance of and experiences utilising expedited partner therapy among African-American juvenile girls

JaNelle M. Ricks, Andrea L. Swartzendruber, Jessica M. Sales, Lorin S. Boyce, Ralph J. DiClemente and Eve Rose
pp. 364-368

Acceptance of and experiences utilising expedited partner therapy for chlamydia and gonorrhoea treatment among recently detained African-American girls was described. Results of this mixed methods study demonstrated that acceptance was associated with risky sexual behaviours. Motivation of girls to accept expedited partner therapy was influenced by personal prosocial beliefs.

SH14201Improving public health surveillance of chlamydia: analysis of population-level positivity trends

Nicola Stephens, David Coleman, Kelly A. Shaw, Maree O'Sullivan and Alison Venn
pp. 369-371

Chlamydia remains Australia’s most frequently notified communicable disease, however interpretation of notification data is difficult without knowledge of the testing patterns in the whole population. In this study, all Tasmanian chlamydia laboratory tests and notification data from 2001 to 2010 were compared. Notifications, tests and positivity increased, most significantly in males and females aged 15 to 29 years. After allowing for testing effort, an increase in chlamydia infections in young people was found.

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