High Rates of Enteric Protozoal Infections in Selected Homosexual Men Attending a Venereal Disease Clinic

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Stool specimens from 89 high-risk, sexually active homosexual men were screened for enteric protozoal cysts. Patients whose specimens contained nonpathogenic cysts were investigated further by examination of fresh purged specimens. A total of 27 of the initial specimens (30%) contained protozoal cysts. Twenty-three patients (26%) harbored pathogens. There were 18 cases (20%) of amebiasis and 11 cases (12%) of giardiasis. Six men (7%) had concurrent amebiasis and giardiasis. The presence of infections correlated with a history of anilingus but not with place of birth, travel, or history of symptoms. The exceptionally high rate of prevalence of intestinal protozoal infection in this population suggests that enteric protozoal infections arc important among sexually transmitted diseases.

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