Background and objectives: There are few data on sexual behavior after an episode of sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Goals: To examine association between a history of STD and subsequent at-risk sexual behavior in the general population.
Study design: In the French National Survey of Sexual Behavior, current sexual behavior was compared between heterosexuals who reported an STD in the 4 years prior to the last year and those who reported no STD (n = 2517).
Results: Reporting of STD was associated with a high rate of past multiple partnership among both sexes, but was associated with current at-risk behavior in men only. Men with a previous history of STD were 2.8 times (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.4-5.6) more likely to report high-risk unprotected sex as a current behavior. No such association was observed in women (adjusted odds ratio [OR]: 1.0; 95% CI: 0.5-2.0). Conversely, in women, a previous episode of STD was significantly associated with reporting of behavior changes (adjusted OR: 3.4; 95% CI: 1.6-7.1).
Conclusion: A self-reported history of STD is a marker of current high-risk sexual behavior among heterosexual men that could be used to target prevention programs. In contrast, it may be associated in women with subsequent adoption of STD and HIV risk reduction strategies.