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.