Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Despite Testing, Gonorrhea Goes Undetected in Gay Men

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Despite Testing, Gonorrhea Goes Undetected in Gay Men

Article excerpt

CHICAGO -- Up to 35% of sexually active gay men might still have undiagnosed gonorrhea infections, despite visiting a sexual health clinic for screening tests, Kristen Mahle said at a conference on STD prevention sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The undiagnosed rectal infections--as well as undiagnosed gonorrhea infections of the pharynx and urethra--occur because many clinics don't routinely screen asymptomatic men at all possible sites of exposure, said Ms. Mahle of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The majority of gonorrhea infections at nongenital sites are asymptomatic," Ms. Mahle said. "Clinics conducting routine gonorrhea screenings for sexually active men who have sex with men should screen based on behavior, not just on symptoms."

Ms. Mahle's analysis drew on data from the national Men Who Have Sex With Men Prevalence Monitoring Project. This 4-year study included data on 89,500 visits to STD and gay men's health clinics in eight U.S. cities. Men who participated were aged 15-65 years.

Among all tested men--both sympto- matic and asymptomatic--the urethral gonorrhea rate was 1%, the rate of rectal gonorrhea was 5%, and the rate of pharyngeal gonorrhea was 3%. …

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