4C 2 Sexual Abstinence By Sexually Transmitted Clinic Patients Immediately Following a New STI Diagnosis: Safe in the City Trial

Wednesday, June 11, 2014: 3:10 PM
Maria Gallo, PhD, Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health,, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, Andrew Margolis, MPH, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, C. Kevin Malotte, DrPH, Department of Health Science, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA, Cornelis Rietmeijer, MD, PhD, STD Control Program, Denver Public Health, Denver, CO, Jeffrey Klausner, MD, MPH, Division of Infectious Diseases and Program in Global Health, David Geffen School of Medicine and Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA, Lydia O'Donnell, EdD, Health and Human Development Programs, Education Development Center, Inc, Newton, MA and Lee Warner, PhD, MPH, Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA

Background: Few studies assess sexual behaviors of patients during the period immediately following new diagnosis of curable STI.

Methods: We studied 450 patients who reported receiving a new STI diagnosis or treatment three months earlier. Participants were part of a behavioral study within a trial of video-based STI/HIV intervention conducted in 3 STD clinics. Using multivariable logistic regression, we identified correlates of sexual abstinence until participants were treated adequately and abstinence until their partner received STI testing.

Results: Most participants reported successfully abstaining from sex until they were adequately treated (90%) and from sex with potentially-exposed partners until their partners received STI treatment (84%). Black, non-Hispanic participants were more likely than Hispanic participants to report abstinence until receipt of adequate treatment (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 5.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.8-13.7). Also, participants attending the initial visit because of new symptoms were more likely to report abstinence until treatment (aOR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.3-7.6) compared to those attending because of STI contact. Finally, abstinence until treatment was more common among those who discussed risks with a potentially-exposed partner (aOR, 5.4; 95% CI, 2.3-12.7) and those who abstained from sex when drinking or using drugs (aOR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.3-5.7) compared to those without these behaviors.

Males were more likely than females to report successfully abstaining from sex with potentially-exposed partners until their partners received STI treatment (aOR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.2-4.1). Reporting this abstinence also differed by race/ethnicity and site. Reporting abstinence until their partner was tested was more common among those reporting having discussed the risks with a potentially-exposed partner (aOR, 3.8; 95% CI, 1.6-9.0) or telling a potentially-exposed partner to seek an STI examination (aOR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.2-6.6).

Conclusions: Many patients successfully adopt protective behaviors after receiving a new STI diagnosis. Interventions to further strengthen behaviors for avoiding transmission of infection or reinfection among these patients are needed.