OBJECTIVES: Surveillance of sexually transmitted infections (STI) among HIV patients in AIDS Reference Centers aims at identifying risk groups and detecting specific STI emerging in this population.
METHODS: Seven of the nine AIDS Reference Centers in Belgium participate in this surveillance. The reported STI include Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, Lymphogranuloma venereum, hepatitis B virus and newly acquired hepatitis C in men who have sex with men (MSM).
RESULTS: In 2008, 252 HIV patients (250 men, 2 women) were reported with a new STI episode. Sexual orientation was known for 245 men: 241 were MSM, 4 were heterosexual men. In total, 279 new STI episodes were reported. More than half of the diagnoses were syphilis. In 78% of the syphilis cases, the motive of the consultation was not related to an STI complaint.
CONCLUSIONS: The results underline the importance of regular STI screening among HIV-positive persons, and show a particular sexual health problem among MSM. We estimate that the proportion of HIV-positive MSM acquiring an STI in 2008 was 8.8%.
Gee, gay men with HIV are more likely to get another STI than non-gay men. Whodda thunk?