Aims: To investigate the lifetime self-reported incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and hepatitis A, B and C in a national sample of men who have sex with men (MSM) in New Zealand.
Methods: A national telephone survey of MSM was conducted in 1996 with the aim of collecting baseline information on the sexual behaviour, safe sex practices, socio-sexual milieu and HIV knowledge of a broad range of MSM.
Results: Of the 1852 respondents, 37.1% reported a lifetime history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), 7.0% reported hepatitis A, 8.0% hepatitis B and 1.8% hepatitis C. A quarter (26.2%) had been for a sexual health check-up or treatment in the year prior to survey. Logistic regression analysis revealed independent associations with STD history (older age, higher number of lifetime partners, seeking partners in public venues, tested HIV positive), HAV (older age, higher number of lifetime partners, use of sex venues, tested HIV positive), HBV (older age, seeking partners in public venues, tested HIV positive), HCV (lower income, recent injecting drug use, tested HIV positive).
Conclusions: This is the first time that information on STDs and hepatitis among a large national sample of MSM has been collected in New Zealand. The findings corroborate previous evidence that MSM are disproportionately affected by sexually transmitted infections other than HIV.