High-risk sexual behavior and HIV/STDs cascade of care in migrants: results from an Italian dedicated outpatient clinic
Introduction: Ethnical segregation and migration influence sexual health. Differences in sexual networks and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) between racial/ethnic minorities and the native population have been described in the literature.
Methodology: We collected data on sexual behavior and physical examination. Basing on CDC 2015 guidelines on STDs, anamnesis, and clinical features, screening for HIV/STDs was proposed.
Results: We enrolled 209 migrants, the median age was 32.5 (26-40) years, and 146 (69.9%) were male. The most represented nationalities were Nigerian, Senegalese, and Somali, with 85 (40.7%), 68 (32.5%), and 16 (7.7%) people, respectively. Twenty-two (10.5%) patients referred perianal/genital lesions, 6 (2.9%) abdominal/pelvic discomfort, and 183 (87.6%) were asymptomatic. Almost all symptomatic patients accepted the tests. 52/183 (28.4%) asymptomatic subjects accepted the tests, and only 24/52(46.2%) performed them. Among symptomatic patients were 6 (24%) HBsAg positivities and one (4%) HCV infection. Four (16%) people had latent syphilis; in 12 (48%) people, HPV-related genital warts were present, 7 (28%) people had Molluscum contagiosum, and 6 (24%) women had pelvic inflammatory diseases. Among patients referring no symptoms, there were 10 (41.7%) HBsAg positivities, one (4.2%) HIV infection, four (16.7%) latent syphilis, one (4.2%) HPV-related genital infection, and one (4.2%) PID. Being Nigerian and having symptoms were associated with a more high acceptance of the STDs test. Having a high-risk behavior was significantly associated with the development of at least one STD.
Conclusions: migrants have high-risk sexual behavior. Despite this, they have a low perception of HIV/STDs risk and healthcare needs. Particular attention should be given to improve access to HIV/STDs services that provide screening and treatment and increase the perception of healthcare needs.
Copyright (c) 2021 Vito Fiore , Andrea De Vito, Nicholas Geremia, Petrana Martineková, Elija Princic, Sergio Babudieri, Giordano Madeddu
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