Sexual behaviour among London GUM clinic attenders: implications for HIV education

Int J STD AIDS. Sep-Oct 1994;5(5):346-52. doi: 10.1177/095646249400500512.


The aim of this study was to describe the sexual behaviour of a sample of genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic attenders, 5 years after the launch of the UK government HIV media campaigns. A gender-specific and anonymous cross-sectional self-completion questionnaire was modified from the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyle and completed by 250 men and 250 women. The majority of the respondents were in their twenties, lived in London and were employed or students. Sixty-eight per cent of the men reported that one or more of their last 3 partners was not a regular partner. For those men whose last sexual encounter was with a new partner, 27% of heterosexuals and 33% of homosexuals reported using a condom. Fifty-one per cent of women reported one or more non-regular partners among their last 3 partners. For those women whose last sexual encounter was with a new partner, 43% of heterosexuals and 75% of bisexuals used a condom. Seventy-eight per cent of men and 75% of women had had a previous sexually transmitted disease (STD). These findings highlight the persistence of practices associated with the risk of contracting or transmitting HIV infection and which needs to be addressed in future educational campaigns. The GUM clinic population is an important population to monitor over time, either by longitudinal or serial cross-sectional studies. The results of this study provide a baseline against which to gauge the effects of future educational interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • London / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / psychology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / therapy