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Sexual Health

Sexual Health

Volume 14 Number 4 2017

SH16149Active syphilis and its association with HIV and sexual risk behaviours in a multicity sample of men who have sex with men and transgender women in Peru

Lia N. Pizzicato, Panagiotis Vagenas, Pedro Gonzales, Javier R. Lama, Monica Pun, Jorge Sanchez and Frederick L. Altice
pp. 304-312

Syphilis in Peru is heavily concentrated among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW). A cross-sectional analysis was conducted to better understand the correlates of active syphilis infection using a multicity sample of over 5000 MSM and TGW in Peru. Findings support the need for combined HIV and syphilis screening among MSM and TGW populations and also indicate differing syphilis epidemics throughout the country and in populations of TGW.

SH17005Tobacco smoking and sexual difficulties among Australian adults: a cross-sectional study

Li Ming Wen, Chris Rissel, Yan Cheng, Juliet Richters and Richard O. de Visser
pp. 313-319

Few studies have examined smoking and female sexual difficulties. Data for this study came from the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships (2012–13), which includes a representative sample of 18 427 sexually active Australian men and women (aged 16–69 years). Current tobacco smoking was associated with sexual difficulties in both men and women. This was more evident among male heavy smokers. For women, even light smoking was associated with not finding sex pleasurable and being unable to come to orgasm.

SH16046Gonorrhoea testing and positivity in non-remote Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services

Mary Ellen Harrod, Sophia Couzos, James Ward, Mark Saunders, Basil Donovan, Belinda Hammond, Dea Delaney-Thiele, Mary Belfrage, Sid Williams, Lucy Watchirs Smith and John M. Kaldor
pp. 320-324

In this retrospective study, routine records on gonorrhea testing at four Aboriginal community controlled health services in Australian urban and regional settings were analysed. The proportion of patients aged 15–29 who were tested each year increased over time, and results were more often positive in people who also had chlamydia. Overall positivity was 1.6%, substantially lower than in remote communities of central and northern Australia, but high enough to justify routinely duplex testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia.


Among 125 HIV-infected young Black men who have sex with men, 70% disclosed their HIV status to the first male partner they had sex with following diagnosis. Men not making this same disclosure were about three times more likely to report condomless sex with that first, post-diagnosis, male partner. Not disclosing HIV serostatus was associated with perceiving a greater level of partner-related barriers to condom use.


Detained African American adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable to contracting HIV/STIs when compared to other adolescent populations. This study examines the heightened risk for HIV/STIs when HIV/STI knowledge is high by applying the principle of least interest to understand sexual risk-taking among a detained sample of young African American women. Although some girls had a high degree of knowledge regarding the transmission of HIV/STIs, this knowledge interacted with the endorsement of a relationship imperative to increase HIV/STI risk among this group. Risk reduction interventions are needed that acknowledge the vulnerabilities for this population and increase the opportunities for appropriate HIV/STI prevention efforts.

SH16170Sexual difficulties faced by men in the Solomon Islands: a mixed-methods study

Paraniala Silas C. Lui, Michael P. Dunne, Philip Baker and Verzilyn Isom
pp. 338-344

This study describes men’s sexual difficulties and barriers to reproductive health care in the Solomon Islands. The study included qualitative inquiry and a quantitative quasi-randomised quota sample household survey. Only a few men had ever sought professional health care for reproductive health problems, while many men preferred to use kastom medicine for sexual problems. Comorbid non-communicable diseases, low health-related quality of life and dissatisfaction with sexual relationships were independently correlated with sexual difficulties. The findings strongly suggests the need for comprehensive health services that are gender-specific and sensitive to the sexual difficulties of Islander men.

SH16151Retrospective study of hepatitis C outcomes and treatment in HIV co-infected persons from the Australian HIV Observational Database

Rainer Puhr, Stephen T. Wright, Jennifer F. Hoy, David J. Templeton, Nicolas Durier, Gail V. Matthews, Darren Russell and Matthew G. Law
pp. 345-354

The widespread availability of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) is expected to drastically improve the treatment uptake and cure rate of hepatitis C virus (HCV). This paper assesses rates of and factors associated with HCV treatment uptake and cure in the HIV co-infected population in Australia before access to DAAs to establish a baseline for a new treatment era.

SH16054Partnership agreements less likely among young gay and bisexual men in Australia – data from a national online survey of gay and bisexual men’s relationships

Johann Kolstee, Steven Philpot, Jeffrey Grierson, Benjamin R. Bavinton, Duane Duncan and Garrett Prestage
pp. 355-362

In this paper differences in partnership agreements among gay and bisexual men (GBM) were assessed. The ability to communicate with a partner about sexual agreements has important sexual health implications for GBM. Regarding the nature of their partnership with their primary regular partner, younger men were less likely to have an agreement of any sort and were less likely to have discussed it. Due to less communication with partners about sexual agreements, when young GBM engage in sexual risk behaviour they may be at an increased risk of HIV and other sexually transmissible infections.


This study estimated the overall prevalence of condom use at last sex and by sexual risk behaviours among sexually active men who have sex with men (MSM) in the preceding 12 months. Approximately 31% of all MSM and 30–38% of MSM who reported at least one sexual risk behavior reported condom use at last sex. Race, recent STI diagnosis, and relationship status were associated with condom use at last sex. There was no difference in temporal trends in condom use at last sex across the three NSFG cycles. Continued promotion of consistent condom use mitigates HIV and STI risk and complements the effectiveness of new HIV prevention modalities such as pre-exposure prophylaxis.


Healthcare professionals’ recommendation is one of the strongest predictors of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine uptake. Due to concerns about the compromised effectiveness of HPV vaccination in adult sexually active men who have sex with men (MSM), some UK healthcare professionals might be hesitant to promote the vaccine to their patients. There is an urgent need to develop guidelines on HPV vaccination for MSM, raise awareness about HPV-related diseases in MSM, and enable integrated clinic procedures on vaccinations in order to achieve optimal uptake.


This study investigated the influence of partner and friendship networks on young adults (aged 18–30) sexually transmissible infection (STI) testing. Recruiting from nightlife precincts, 167 young people self-completed a questionnaire. Talking to partners and friends about STI testing was associated with testing rates for young adults, and increased numbers of sexual partners may be associated with the promotion of STI testing among friends and partners. Understanding young adult partner and friendship networks and their influence on STI testing practices may enhance health promotion efforts to increase testing for this group.

SH16238Factors associated with unwanted sexual experiences of young Australian females: an observational study

Asvini K. Subasinghe, Yasmin L. Jayasinghe, John D. Wark, Alexandra Gorelik, Suzanne M. Garland, on behalf of the Young Female Health Initiative (YFHI) and Safe-D Study Groups
pp. 383-391

Sexual abuse and paedophilia are pervasive contemporary global issues. Thus raising awareness of the associated short and long term outcomes for the abused is pertinent to making sure relevant support systems are in place. We show that sexual behaviours and mental health are associated with childhood and adolescent unwanted sexual experiences (USEs) in young Australian females, but were unable to determine the direction of these associations. Longitudinal studies should be conducted to investigate whether there are groups of individuals who are at a high risk of experiencing childhood USE, so that high quality support services can be provided to these individuals.

SH16162Prevalence of porA pseudogene deletion among Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates referred to the UK’s Gonococcal Resistance to Antimicrobials Surveillance Program

Martina Toby, Pamela Saunders, Michelle Cole, Vlad Grigorjev, Sarah Alexander and Catherine Ison
pp. 392-393

Some laboratories use porA pseudogene targeted real-time polymerase chain reactions to confirm the Neisseria gonorrhoeae status of clinical specimens, however porA negative strains have been sporadically reported. In this UK study, less than 0.4% (2/533) of gonococcal isolates examined were determined to porA-negative isolates. Low prevalence indicates that although these isolates do not present a major public health problem, microbiologists should remain vigilant.


This study describes the self-reported use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in the personal advertisements of men seeking sex with men in the United Sates on the online classified advertisement site, Craigslist. Overall use of PrEP in personal advertisements was low. However, self-reported PrEP use was often in conjunction with other sexual risk behaviours. Findings underscore the need for increased public PrEP awareness, particularly among men seeking sex with men, as well as the importance emphasising sexually transmissible infection prevention behaviours (i.e. condom use) used in conjunction with PrEP.

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