Sexual Health Sexual Health Society
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Sexual Health

Sexual Health

Volume 13 Number 3 2016


What are the challenges around patient voice in sexual health services? An audit of patient and public involvement practice in sexual health services and a parallel survey of potential patients in the Bristol region identified some key steps to improvement. These include flexible and varied methods, clear aims and communication of these to patients as well as dedicated resources.


An initial typology of situational characteristics in dyadic sexual encounters between men was derived using longitudinal data from a survey of men who have sex with men living in England. This typology suggested three classes: encounters with regular steady partners in private locations with low drug use, encounters with casual partners with increased probability of sex occurring in a sex-on-premises venue, and encounters with high levels of polydrug use together with increased probability of casual partners. Classes were associated with differential probability of condomless anal intercourse.


As part of the evaluation of It Starts With Me, a sexual health promotion intervention in England targeting gay and bisexual men as well as African people through Facebook, this study explores how the online environment shapes end user engagement with sexual health interventions. Privacy concerns related to the ecology of social networking sites, issues with implied disclosure and discrimination, as well as uncertainty over control of data. These concerns limited the organic reach of the intervention by confining the intervention to those who already held the norms diffused through it, and by discouraging participants from sharing and commenting on content. Care should be taken to address concerns when designing interventions delivered through social media; gated interventions may be more beneficial for marginalised communities.

SH15187Diagnosing and treating female sexual dysfunction: a survey of the perspectives of obstetricians and gynaecologists

Megan E. McCool, Christian Apfelbacher, Susanne Brandstetter, Miriam Mottl and Julika Loss
pp. 234-240

Barriers in diagnosing and treating patients with female sexual dysfunction were assessed through a survey of obstetricians and gynaecologists (OB/GYN). Doctors identified 1) long waiting times for referrals to sex therapists, 2) too little time with patients, and 3) insufficient training during residency as barriers to addressing women’s sexual concerns. Only one out of five OB/GYNs brought up the topic of sexual function routinely; initiating a conversation about sexual function was significantly associated with perceived communication skills and perceived medical competence.

SH15229Is there a role for practice nurses in increasing the uptake of the contraceptive implant in primary care?: survey of general practitioners and practice nurses

Cameryn C. Garrett, Henrietta Williams, Louise Keogh, Qazi W. Ullah, Fabian Kong and Jane S. Hocking
pp. 241-247

General practitioners and nurses believe there is a role for nurses to undertake contraception counselling with patients attending general practice and that nurses can play a role in inserting the contraceptive implant when prescribed.

SH15034Perceptions and correlates of pubic hair removal and grooming among college-aged women: a mixed methods approach

Andrea L. DeMaria, Beth Sundstrom, Stephanie M. McInnis and Emily Rogers
pp. 248-256

Mixed method data were collected on pubic hair removal and sexual behaviours from women aged 18–24 years living in the United States. Overall, 663 participants completed an online survey and 53 completed in-depth interviews. Participants removed hair for hygiene, comfort and sensation purposes, which was a personal decision influenced by family, friends and the media. Race, pubic hair removal initiation age, genital image and sexual behaviours were significantly related to pubic hair removal.


Electronic medical records from 103 564 women were reviewed to estimate prevalence and risk for sexually transmissible infections (STI). Multivariate analysis showed that women who have sex with women (WSW) generally are at lower risk for STIs, but among smokers the risk for STIs was similar between WSW and women with male partners. Our study suggests encouraging all women to test for STIs regardless if engaging in same-sex or heterosexual behaviour.

SH15244Men’s use of sexual health and HIV services in Swaziland: a mixed methods study

Joelle Mak, Susannah H. Mayhew, Ariane von Maercker, Integra Research Team and Manuela Colombini
pp. 265-274

This mixed methods study aimed to understand Swazi men’s health-seeking behaviours for sexual health (SH) and HIV services. There were differences between service users and non-users on HIV service preferences. Men were uncomfortable with disclosing SH problems to female providers. Some men avoided HIV testing by relying on their wife’s results as a proxy for their own status. Traditional healers were preferred because practitioners were more often male, physical exams were not required and appointments and payment options were flexible. To improve men’s uptake of SH services, providers and services need to be more sensitive to men’s privacy concerns, time restrictions and the potential stigma associated with STI/HIV testing.

SH15139Intravaginal practices among a cohort of rural Malawian women

Allahna Esber, Abigail Norris Turner, Gladson Mopiwa and Alison H. Norris
pp. 275-280

Among a sample of 650 rural, Malawian women, intravaginal practices were highly prevalent and frequently performed with 95% of women reporting engaging in a practice in the past 30 days. Cleansing with water, soap and water, and cotton, cloth, or tissue were most commonly reported. Women engaged in intravaginal practices for hygiene and to increase sexual pleasure.


This study aims to understand the dynamic nature of Chinese young adults’ engagement with online sexual health information through various communication channels to inform the development of effective sexual health intervention strategies. Results suggest Chinese young adults obtain sexual health information from online sources when personal problems arise and then circulate this information offline within their peer networks. They also perceive a great extent of social stigma on sharing and discussing sexual health online.

SH15205Sexual health-related information delivery – are patient information leaflets still relevant?

Rick Varma, Charles Chung, Amanda Townsend and Melissa Power
pp. 289-291

Patient information leaflets (PIL) are widely used within NSW publically funded sexual health clinics to deliver sexual health related information (SHRI). Their continued relevance in the era of social media is unclear. This study sought to evaluate client views on PILs and other forms of sexual health information delivery. Study results provides evidence for the ongoing use of PILs to deliver SHRI in conjunction with other methods including websites and the Sexual Health Information Link. Innovative methods of SHRI may require consumer engagement.

SH16031Australian pharmacists’ willingness to conduct rapid HIV testing in community pharmacies

Anthony J. Santella, Timothy E. Schlub, Damien Fagan, Richard J. Hillman and Ines Krass
pp. 292-294

Community pharmacists are expanding their roles in health care, especially as they are distributed over wide geographical areas and are often open long hours. New rapid HIV testing technologies may offer further opportunities to expand their roles. A cross-sectional, online survey of Australian community pharmacists found most prepared to provide treatment to HIV patients, with the majority willing to become involved in rapid HIV testing.

SH15192Prevalence of human herpesvirus-8 among HIV-infected patients, intravenous drug users and the general population in Iran

Rezvan Kakavand-Ghalehnoei, Zabihollah Shoja, Alireza Najafi, Mostafa Haji Mollahoseini, Shohreh Shahmahmoodi, Sayed Mahdi Marashi, Ahmad Nejati and Somayeh Jalilvand
pp. 295-298

The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) DNA by using polymerase chain reaction method among 168 healthy individuals, 60 intravenous drug users and 100 HIV-infected patients from Iran. The prevalence of HHV-8 was 13.3%, 3.6% and 8% among intravenous drug users, the general population and HIV-infected patients, respectively. The HHV-8 genome was mostly detected among intravenous drug users who displayed high-risk sexual behaviours. The present study findings support the likelihood that the transmission of HHV-8 is via a sexual route in the Iranian population

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