Background: Dynamic models of sexually transmitted disease (STD) transmission typically rely on stratified sexual activity levels among the population to calibrate models for observed STD prevalence and incidence rates. To accurately depict sexual activity classes, detailed data on partner numbers is needed.
Objectives: To describe the number of sex partners reported in the prior 12 months in men screened for STDs by venues, to inform STD transmission models of interventions targeting men in specific venues.
Methods: Data were collected from a 4-city male chlamydia screening study, (1999-2003). To compare data with other studies we categorized number of partners in the last 12 months as follows: 0, 1, 2-4, 5-9, and 10+. We compared overall means and percentages with each partner number group using men screened in STD clinics as the comparator group.
Results: The mean number of female partners of men screened in STD clinics was 3.6 (median of 2). The mean number of partners for males screened in juvenile detention (JD) was 4.7, while for adult detention (AD) was 5.4 (both p < 0.001). The medians for JD and AD were 3 (for both). The percentage of men screened in STD clinics with 0, 1, 2-4, 5-9, and 10+ partners was 6.1, 25.3, 49.2, 13.0, and 6.3, respectively. For JD the percentages were 6.3, 21.1, 40.0, 19.8, and 12.8, respectively. For AD the percentages were 7.9, 18.5, 39.2, 21.0, and 13.4, respectively.
Conclusions: The mean number of partners of men screened and the proportion of men with higher numbers of partners varied significantly by venue. Males in JD and AD venues had the highest number of partners.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research: Accounting for partner number differences in men attending different venues could enable modelers to more accurately predict the impact of venue-specific interventions.