Serosorting and recreational drug use are risk factors for diagnosis of genital infection with chlamydia and gonorrhoea among HIV-positive men who have sex with men: results from a clinical cohort in Ontario, Canada

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Rates of chlamydia and gonorrhoea have been rising in urban centres in Canada, particularly among HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM). Our objective was to identify behavioural risk factors for diagnosis with chlamydia and gonorrhoea in this population, with a focus on the HIV status of sexual partners.


The OHTN Cohort Study follows people in HIV care across Ontario. We restricted the analysis to 1997 MSM who completed questionnaires in 2010–2013 at one of seven clinics that submit all chlamydia and gonorrhoea tests to the provincial public health laboratory; we obtained test results via record linkage. We estimated cumulative incidences using Kaplan–Meier methods and identified risk factors for diagnosis of a composite outcome (chlamydia or gonorrhoea infection) using Cox regression.


At follow-up, there were 74 new chlamydia/gonorrhoea diagnoses with a 12-month cumulative incidence of 1.7% (95% CI 1.1% to 2.2%). Risk factors for chlamydia/gonorrhoea diagnosis were: 5+ HIV-positive partners (HR=3.3, 95% CI 1.4 to 7.8; reference=none) and recreational drug use (HR=2.2, 95% CI 1.2 to 3.9).


Heightened risks with recreational drug use and multiple HIV-positive partners suggest that chlamydia/gonorrhoea may have achieved high prevalence in certain sexual networks among HIV-positive MSM. Interventions to promote safer sex and timely testing among MSM are needed.

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