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Prevalence of Extragenital STDs High in Men Who Have Sex With Men

Extragenital STDs mostly seen in throat and rectum, contribute to risk for drug-resistant gonorrhea and HIV

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FRIDAY, April 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Extragenital (rectal and pharyngeal) chlamydia and gonorrhea are prevalent among men who have sex with men (MSM), according to research published in the April 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Michelle L. Johnson Jones, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the prevalence of extragenital sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among MSM. In five U.S. cities, MSM attending community venues were recruited to provide self-collected swabs for chlamydia and gonorrhea screening. Data were included from 2,075 MSM who provided specimens with valid results.

The researchers found that 13.3 percent of participants were infected in at least one of the extragenital sites with at least one of the two pathogens. About one-third of the participating MSM had not undergone STD screening in the previous year.

"The asymptomatic nature of extragenital STDs and high prevalences found in this population further support the need for regular screening of all sexually active MSM at all anatomic sites of exposure," the authors write. "Improved access to culturally competent care and clinician adherence to screening guidelines for MSM are critical components in reducing the STD disparities that affect this population."

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