The absence of a national standard of care for gay and bi men is partially to blame for higher rates of STDs and other health disparities a national panel of health professionals said this week according to the Clarion Ledger.
The panel, co-chaired by a University of Mississippi Medical Center professor, has created a standard of care for men who have sex with men to address STD prevention programs and other issues, the Ledger reports.
The panel’s sexual health standard of care for MSM includes:
- A comprehensive sexual history; mental health assessments and referrals; counseling about condoms, lubrication, enemas and douches; and discussions about sexual satisfaction and pleasure.
- A visual exam to check for signs of HPV, syphilis or other STDs.
- Urethral swab or urine-based chlamydia and gonorrhea screening; rectal and pharyngeal chlamydia and gonorrheal screening.
- Syphilis, HIV and hepatitis C screening every three to six months for sexually active MSM with multiple partners, and at least annually for other MSM.
- Vaccines for human papillomavirus, or HPV, and Hepatitis A and B.
- Pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis as indicated; expedited partner therapy for chlamydia or gonorrhea infection.
The panel’s recommendations go beyond federal guidelines and instead incorporate the collective experiences of the panel’s experts in sexual health. Their work took into consideration the social landscape for many MSM that can impact whether or not they walk into a clinic, the Ledger reports.