How to do it: setting up an asymptomatic screening pathway for men who have sex with men

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Abstract

Many STIs are known to disproportionately affect men who have sex with men (MSM) in the UK; therefore, regular asymptomatic screening that is easy to access is vital among this group. Asymptomatic screening pathways can reduce long clinic waits, which may encourage more people to attend for screening. We therefore developed and trialled an asymptomatic pathway for MSM within our service. This extended our previous pathway, which allowed asymptomatic service users to fill in a questionnaire and see a healthcare support worker, to include MSM, as it previously had not. The service has been implemented and rolled out successfully. We believe that this model for asymptomatic screening among MSM can reduce clinic visit duration. This should increase accessibility and also allow trained staff to manage more complex patients, while allowing for risk identification and health promotion among those MSM who may be at higher risk.

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