Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Now serosorting shown to be big failure in stopping STD's

It used to be that STD researchers would constantly recommend lots of condom use to stop STD's, especially among MSM (Men who have sex with men).

But they noticed something: no matter how much you promote condoms, lots of people still will not use them. It ruins the rush.

So they began exploring serosorting. I can't say that they promoted it, exactly, but it seemed like a reasonable thing to do. If you won't wear condoms then find someone who has the same HIV status as you. Seems to make sense.

Well, that doesn't work that well, either.

Because people don't always ask about seroconcordance. That kind of ruins the rush, too. "Hey, do you have HIV?" -- Not very romantic or sexy.

Abstract (Formatted):


Serosorting, selecting sex partners of the same HIV status, may be associated with increased risk of sexually transmitted infection (STI). We examined the association between unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with a seroconcordant partner and STIs among HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM) at an urban lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender STI clinic.


Subjects reported how they assessed their most recent sex partner's HIV status. Those who reported getting tested together or asking were classified as known concordant; those who determined their partner's serostatus based on appearance, age, or social aspects were classified as assumed concordant. Generalized estimating equations generated prevalence ratios for associations between seroconcordance and STIs.


From May 2010 through October 2011, 961 HIV-negative MSM were screened for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis at 1110 visits.  

Sexually transmitted infection prevalence was 20.1%:

20.2% at visits with known seroconcordant UAI

35.3% at visits with assumed seroconcordant UAI

29.5% at visits where UAI with an unknown status partner was reported

34.8% at visits with serodiscordant UAI

16.1% at visits with no reported UAI.

Assumed serodiscordant UAI (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR], 2.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.79-3.51), unknown status partner (aPR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.31-2.38), and serodiscordant UAI (aPR, 2.57; 95% CI, 1.76-3.75) were significant predictors of STI after controlling for age and race/ethnicity, STI history, alcohol use, substance use, and multiple sex partners.

Known seroconcordant UAI was not associated with STI.


Assumed seroconcordant UAI was associated with increased STI prevalence, although known seroconcordant UAI was not. The risk associated with UAI with a partner of assumed seroconcordance should be emphasized for HIV-negative MSM.

I wonder if they measured condom use.

Nothing will ever replace monogamy and self-control as a halt to STD's.