Guidance and practice on frequency of HIV and sexually transmitted infection testing in men who have sex with men - what is the European situation?

Int J STD AIDS. 2014 Mar;25(3):213-8. doi: 10.1177/0956462413497700. Epub 2013 Aug 28.


Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at particular risk for HIV/sexually transmitted infections (STI). To investigate the European guidance used for MSM STI and HIV screening, risk level profiling and how this translated to practice, we conducted a questionnaire survey of leading physicians in the European branch of the International Union against Sexually Transmitted Infections (IUSTI). We identified that most European countries have limited guidance on screening intervals for MSM. Where risk profiling is advised, it is often left to clinicians to weight different behaviours and decide on screening frequency. Our results suggest that European MSM STI and HIV testing guidelines be developed with clear and specific recommendations around screening intervals and risk profiling. These guidelines will be particularly helpful due to rapidly evolving models of sexual healthcare, and the emergence of new providers who may benefit from guidelines that require less interpretation.

Keywords: AIDS; Europe location; HIV; MSM; high-risk behaviour; homosexual; human immunodeficiency virus; screening; sexually transmitted infection; viral disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Services Research
  • Health Surveys
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Mass Screening / trends
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult