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Disclosure of Sexual Identity Linked to Receipt of HIV Testing

Rural men who have sex with men who disclose sexual identity more likely to have HIV testing, hepatitis shots

doctor and patient

THURSDAY, March 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For rural men who have sex with men, disclosure of sexual identity is associated with increased uptake of HIV testing and hepatitis vaccinations, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Nicholas Metheny, M.P.H., R.N., and Rob Stephenson, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, analyzed data from a national survey of 319 rural men who have sex with men. They examined whether there was a correlation between disclosure of sexual identity to clinicians and uptake of HIV testing and hepatitis vaccines.

The researchers observed a significant correlation for disclosure of sexual identity to clinicians with uptake of routine HIV testing and hepatitis A and B vaccinations (odds ratio, 1.26).

"For rural men who have sex with men, being fully out to their clinician and talking openly about their sexuality is a fundamental gateway to receiving appropriate sexual health services," the authors write. "This finding reinforces evidence that clinicians make more population-specific preventative health recommendations when sexuality is freely discussed."

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