Resource Logo
CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

AUSTRALIA: Would Gay Men Change Their Sexual Behavior to Reduce Syphilis Rates?


Sexually Transmitted Diseases Vol. 38; No. 12: P. 1145-1150

"The community at which public health strategies for reducing syphilis epidemics are potentially targeted may have different considerations with regards to their sexual and health priorities," noted the study authors, whose research sought information on the acceptability of behavior change interventions to reduce syphilis among gay men in Australia.

An online survey of 2,306 participants and focus groups were conducted to determine whether further sexual behavior change to reduce syphilis is likely to be acceptable to gay men.

Twenty-six percent of survey respondents indicated they would be highly likely to reduce partner acquisition rates in order to reduce their chances of infection with syphilis. However, among the 475 men (21 percent) who reported more than 10 partners in the last six months, just 11 percent said it was "highly likely" they would reduce partner numbers to avoid the STD. Among 606 respondents (26 percent) who reported not always using condoms in the previous six months, 34 percent indicated being highly likely to always use condoms with casual partners to avoid syphilis. Men in the focus groups indicated little commitment to sexual behavior change but some willingness to consider short-term changes to reduce syphilis at the community level.

"Interventions promoting partner reduction or increased condom use are unlikely to be adopted on a long-term basis by men at greatest risk. Behavioral interventions alone are unlikely to materially contribute to syphilis prevention among gay men," the study authors concluded.


Copyright © 2012 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in January 30, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.