Improvement of Sexually Transmitted Disease Screening Among HIV-Infected Men Who Have Sex With Men Through Implementation of a Standardized Sexual Risk Assessment Tool

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BackgroundScreening for gonorrhea (GC) and chlamydia (CT) and syphilis among HIV-positive (HIV+) men who have sex with men (MSM) is recommended at least annually. However, significant gaps in screening coverage exist. We conducted a quality improvement intervention to determine whether informing providers of preintervention screening rates and routinizing sexual risk assessment would improve sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening in a large HIV care clinic.MethodsIn partnership with Kaiser Permanente Northern California, we developed and implemented a 10-item assessment addressing sexual and other behavioral risk factors among HIV+ MSM. We analyzed the proportion of patients screened for GC/CT and syphilis in a preintervention period (June 25–September 26, 2012) and during the intervention period (June 25–September 26, 2013).ResultsOf 364 HIV+ MSM seen for care during the intervention period, 47.3% completed the sexual risk assessment. Improvements in GC/CT screening and syphilis screening were observed; when comparing the preintervention period with the intervention period, the proportion of HIV+ MSM receiving GC/CT screening increased by 26.8% (31.6%–40.1%, P = 0.01) at any anatomical site and by 45% (19.5%–28.3%, P = 0.003) at the pharyngeal site. Syphilis screening significantly increased by 18.8% (48.7%–58.0%, P = 0.009).ConclusionsOverall STD screening increases were observed after this intervention that included didactic training on the urgency of STD screening needs for HIV+ MSM, a presentation of preintervention clinic STD screening data, and the implementation of self-reported sexual risk assessment. Additional efforts are needed to determine feasible ways to accurately assess the appropriateness of STD screening and success of interventions to improve STD screening.

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