People accessing health care from Fenway Health in Boston have seen rising rates of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia, aidsmap reports. HIV-positive men who have sex with men and MSM on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) attending the clinic have particularly high sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates.
Researchers from the clinic, which specializes in caring for sexual and gender minorities, presented findings from an analysis of electronic health records at the IDWeek 2016 conference in New Orleans.
Between 2005 and 2015, 19,238 men visited the clinic at least one time. About 15 percent of the clinic’s clients were HIV positive. In 2011, five people received PrEP from the clinic, a figure that soared to 960 in 2015, when 14 percent of men who visited the clinic received a prescription for PrEP.
During the 10-year period ending in 2015, 18 percent of the men who attended the clinic were diagnosed with at least one bacterial STI, with 7 percent diagnosed with gonorrhea, 7 percent with syphilis and 9 percent with chlamydia. Almost all these cases were among MSM.
By 2015, 14 percent of the HIV-positive men and 25 percent of the men on PrEP had been diagnosed with at least one STI. It is not clear whether going on PrEP led men to change their sexual risk taking such that they become more likely to contract STIs.
Cumulative diagnoses for the three bacterial STIs rose from 162 in 2005 to 1,329 in 2015.
After adjusting the data for various factors, the researchers found that having diagnosed HIV was associated with a 2.66-fold increased likelihood of being diagnosed with an STI. For men on PrEP, there was a 3.43-fold increased likelihood of an STI diagnosis.
To read the aidsmap article, click here.