Objective: To assess clinician sexual risk assessment and sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening rates in a large cohort of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients in King County, Washington.
Methods: We abstracted data from medical records of HIV-infected patients seen in diverse clinical settings during 2000-2003 and used [chi]2 and logistic regression to identify factors associated with higher rates of sexual risk assessment and STI testing. We defined patients as having had a sexual risk or STI assessment if the medical record included any information about the patient's recent sexual behavior or included laboratory test results for gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, syphilis, or trichomoniasis.
Results: The proportion of patients with any recorded risk assessment or STI testing increased from 16% in 2000 to 46% in 2001, and thereafter remained stable. On multivariate analysis, having a sexual risk or STI evaluation was significantly associated with later time period of evaluation, receiving care in a HIV specialty clinic, higher number of outpatient visits, being men who have sex with men, Seattle residence (vs. residence outside Seattle), female gender, higher CD4 count, white race, and having never received antiretroviral therapy.
Conclusion: Although sexual risk and STI evaluation rates increased from 2000 to 2001, they now appear to be stable and many patients, particularly those seen outside of HIV specialty clinics, are not routinely evaluated for ongoing risks or STI. Clinicians and public health authorities need to develop better mechanisms to assure recommended risk assessments and STI testing among persons with HIV.