The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3360.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 1

Abstract #63128

Possible health determinants of the three year syphilis outbreak

Paula Amezola De Herrera, MPH, Sexual Health Program, Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, 1625 N. Schrader Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, (323) 993 -7549, and David Anderson, MD, HIV / Family Practice, Tower I.D. Medical Associates, 8631 W. Third Street, Suite 1015E, Los Angeles, CA 90048.

OBJECTIVE: We investigated possible behavioral health determinants involved in the ongoing three year syphilis outbreak. METHODS: The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, a sentinel site for the Los Angeles County STD department, offers screening and treatment for numerous STD’s. Additionally, we collect sexual-behavior information to monitor the health status of this population. We utilized reactive RPR and TPPA tests and previous history to declare a new syphilis infection. Analysis of the surveillance data (N= 99) was done with simple descriptive techniques. RESULTS: From January 2001 through December 2002, 3787 RPR tests were performed with 177 reactive results (78 previously treated infections and 99 new infections). Of the new cases, 73% reported ever having an STD (21% within the past year.) When asked about the sexual history of their partners, 40% of the patients had contact with an HIV positive person, and 11% had contact with an injection-drug user. The patients also reported the number of partners, in the last 6 months it ranged from 0-600 (median = 4,) and in the last 30 days it ranged from 0-30 (median = 1.) In regard to their last sexual encounters, 51% of those surveyed did not use a condom for anal sex, while 90% did not use one for oral sex. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest the local MSM population continues to practice high risk sexual behavior. Thus, sexual health prevention services need to be revisited; innovative efforts and widespread dissemination of these will be required to put a halt to this outbreak.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Syphilis Screening, Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Topics in LGBT Health - III

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA