Public health messaging encourages men who have sex with men (MSM) to be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV at least yearly, and more frequently depending on sexual behaviors. However, despite engaging in a range of sexual behaviors, many MSM do not participate in regular STI testing. The objective of this study was to understand factors associated with STI testing among a nonclinic-based population of men accessing an Internet-based social and sexual networking site. We asked 25,736 men to complete a comprehensive behavioral and health assessment after being recruited from an Internet site popular among men seeking social or sexual interactions with other men. Analyses were performed using multivariate logistic regression with effects significant at p<0.05. Two separate predictive models were assessed: STI diagnosis within the past 2 years and STI testing within the past year. Regarding previous STI diagnosis, men who used a condom some of the time or never during both insertive (odds ratio [OR]=1.72) and receptive (OR=1.41) anal sex were significantly more likely to have had an STI in the past 2 years. For STI testing, men who never used condoms during receptive anal sex were more likely to have had an STI test within the past year (OR=1.31), but men who had a STI history were less likely to have been tested (OR=0.24). Public health efforts directed toward MSM should continue to emphasize screening for STI other than HIV, particularly among those men prioritized during condom promotion campaigns. In addition to the benefits of learning one's STI status, the STI screening and treatment environment itself may provide an important venue for encouraging a range of sexual health promoting behaviors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases