Sexually transmitted infections and sexual behaviour among men having sex with men from Tshwane, South Africa

Marcelle Le Roux*, Innocent K. Ngwenya, Avhammbudzi L. Nemarude, Barbara E. De Villiers, Matsontso Mathebula, Maphoshane Nchabeleng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Men having sex with men (MSM) are at increased risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including extra-urethral infections. This study aimed to provide information on the presence of genital and extra-genital non-viral STIs and associated risk factors among MSM in the Tshwane district of South Africa. Method: Samples were collected from 200 MSM in the North-western area of Tshwane. After the completion of a questionnaire including demographics and sexual history and an HIV test, three swabs (pharyngeal, rectal, and urethral) were collected and tested for the presence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG), Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) and Trichomonas vaginalis (TV). Results: Data were collected from 199 participants and 77/199 (38.7%) participants had at least one infection regardless of specimen site. Of these 34 (17.1%) were infected with NG; 36 (18.1%) with CT, 16 (8.1%) with MG and 14 (7.0%) with TV. NG and CT were most frequently detected in rectal specimens. The HIV prevalence in this study was 66.8% (133/199), with 56 (28.1%) of participants both STI and HIV positive. Being between 18 and 20 years, and difficulty having safe sex (more sex partners and more often condomless anal sex) when high/drunk were significantly associated with having an STI. Factors with increased odds of having an STI were being HIV positive, having two or more sexual partners, depending on partner financially, performing and receiving rimming, or receiving anal sex. Conclusions: This study has highlighted the high burden of STIs in MSM in the local community, especially the prevalence of these pathogens in extra-genital sites.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • South Africa
  • men who have sex with men

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