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Article

Factors associated with genitourinary medicine clinic attendance and sexually transmitted infection diagnosis among central and east European migrants in London

Gerry C., Evans A. R., Mercer C. H., Parutis V., Hart G. J., Mole R., Burns F.

Objectives There has been a large influx of central and east European (CEE) migrants to the UK following the expansion of the European Union. This paper examines factors associated with genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic attendance and sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis among CEE migrants in London.

Methods A survey of sexual behaviour was conducted among CEE migrants attending two central London GUM clinics (n=299) and community venues in London (n=2276). Routinely collected clinic data were also analysed.

Results CEE migrants made up 2.9% of male and 7.0% of female attendees at the clinics. Half the women attending sessions for female sex workers were from CEE countries, and paying for sex was widely reported by men. Women were more likely than men to have attended a GUM clinic in the UK (7.6% vs 4.5%, p=0.002). GUM survey respondents were more likely than community survey respondents to report one or more new sexual partners in the past year (women 67.9% vs 28.3%, p<0.001; men 75.6% vs 45.1%, p<0.001) and homosexual partnership(s) in the past 5 years (men 54.3% vs 1.8%, p<0.001), but were less likely to report assortative heterosexual mixing (women 25.9% vs 74.2%, p<0.001; men 56.5% vs 76.3%, p<0.001).

Conclusions CEE patients make up a notable minority of patients attending two central London GUM clinics. Higher numbers of sexual partners, homosexual partnerships and sexual mixing with people from outside the country of origin are associated with GUM clinic attendance. Heterosexual CEE men report behaviours associated with HIV/STI acquisition but appear to be underutilising GUM services.