Background: Rectal gonorrhea in men has been increasing in San Francisco since 1995.
Goal: The goal was to determine behavioral risk factors associated with rectal gonorrhea (RGC) among men who have sex with men (MSM) by HIV serostatus.
Study design: All men reporting receptive anal sex in the last 6 months are screened for RGC, regardless of reported condom use, at San Francisco's municipal sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic. We surveyed a convenience sample of men screened for RGC at the clinic.
Results: Among 564 MSM surveyed, 7.1% had RGC. HIV-positive MSM were significantly more likely (relative risk, 3.5, 95% confidence interval, 1.9-5.8) to have RGC. Behavioral risks for RGC infection varied significantly by HIV serostatus. HIV-positive MSM engaging in anonymous sex were at highest risk for RGC infection. Drug use during anal sex was the strongest risk factor for RGC infection among HIV-negative or unknown HIV status MSM.
Conclusion: Our data suggest that STD and HIV prevention efforts among MSM in San Francisco must consider the role that HIV serostatus plays in acquisition of new infections.