Many men who have sex with men (MSM) do not disclose their same sex behaviors to healthcare providers (HCPs).
[Dr. Nathan W. Stupiansky]
A new study led by Dr. Nathan W. Stupiansky, assistant professor at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and director of adolescent health programs in the UA Center for Border Health Disparities, and colleagues examined the association between disclosure of same sex behaviors to health care providers and the receipt of three critical sexual health outcomes for young men who have sex with men (YMSM):
HIV Testing, STI testing and HPV vaccination. The study, “Young Men’s Disclosure of Same Sex Behaviors to Healthcare Providers and the Impact on Health: Results from a US National Sample of Young Men Who Have Sex With Men“, was published in the August issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs.
The investigators determined the predictors of disclosure to HCPs among YMSM and examined the relationship between disclosure and the receipt of appropriate healthcare services. Data were collected online through a US national sample of 1750 YMSM (ages 18–29 years) using a social and sexual networking website for MSM. Sexual history, STI/HIV screening history, sexual health, and patient-provider communication were analyzed in the logistic regression models. Participants were predominantly white (75.2%) and gay/homosexual (76.7%) with at least some college education (82.7%).
“We found that disclosure of male-male sexual behaviors to health care providers was associated with the receipt of all three outcomes, and a stronger mediator in HPV vaccination than in HIV or STI testing,” said lead investigator Dr. Stupiansky.
The findings suggest that young men’s disclosure of male-male sexual behaviors to health care providers is integral to the receipt of appropriate health care services for young men who have sex with men (YMSM), particularly for HPV vaccination which is more dependent on provider-level interaction with patients than HIV/STI testing, which can also frequently occur as part of outreach efforts in the MSM community.