Extragenital gonorrhea and chlamydia infections were common among men who have sex with men visiting STD clinics, but many were not tested for them, CDC researchers have found.
The researchers collected data on 21,994 MSM who visited 42 STD clinics throughout the country from July 2011 to June 2012. They evaluated the number of MSM who were tested for extragenital gonorrhea and/or chlamydia. They then determined the number of infections that would have gone undetected with urogenital screening alone.
The majority (83.9%) were tested for urogenital gonorrhea either at their most recent visit or in the previous 12 months, but only 65.9% were tested for pharyngeal infection and 50.4% were tested for rectal infection. Among those who were tested, 11.1% were positive for a urogenital infection, 7.9% were positive for a pharyngeal infection and 10.2% were positive for a rectal infection. Extragenital infections represented 53% of all gonorrhea infections.
For chlamydia, 81.4% also were tested for urogenital infection at their most recent visit or in the previous 12 months. Only 31.7% were tested for pharyngeal infection and 45.9% were tested for rectal infection. Among those who were tested, 8.4% were positive for urogenital infection, 2.9% were positive for pharyngeal infection and 14.1% were positive for rectal infection. Fifty-two percent of chlamydia infections were extragenital.
Among those with positive rectal gonorrhea test who also had a urethral test at the same visit, 71.8% were negative. In addition, urethral tests were negative for 73.8% of pharyngeal gonorrhea infections, 92.2% of pharyngeal chlamydia infections and 88.3% of rectal chlamydia infections.