Intestinal parasitic infections in homosexual men: prevalence, symptoms and factors in transmission

Can Med Assoc J. 1980 Sep 20;123(6):512-4.


In a controlled study 67.5% of 200 homosexual men but only 16% of 100 heterosexual men were found to be infected with intestinal parasites. Entamoeba histolytica was isolated from 27% of the homosexual and 1% of the heterosexual men, and Giardia lamblia was isolated from 13% of the homosexual and 3% of the heterosexual men. The presence of symptoms could not be correlated with infection except when the infection was caused by more than one organism, including G. lamblia. Symptoms were much more common in both infected and uninfected homosexuals than in heterosexuals. Among the homosexual men recent foreign travel, living in a homosexual household and promiscuity were not correlated with intestinal parasitic infection, but cleansing of the anus before and sex was associated with a significantly lower prevalence of infection. These findings suggest that the male homosexual community may be an important reservoir of potentially pathogenic protozoa.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dysentery, Amebic*
  • Giardiasis*
  • Homosexuality*
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / epidemiology
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / etiology*
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / transmission
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ontario