Screening for Asymptomatic Extragenital Gonorrhea and Chlamydia in Men Who Have Sex with Men: Significance, Recommendations, and Options for Overcoming Barriers to Testing.LGBT Health. 2015 Mar; 2(1):27-34.LH
Men who have sex with men (MSM) have a disproportionately greater risk than other populations of acquiring Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC), the two most commonly reported notifiable diseases in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The presence of either of these diseases is a significant risk factor for the acquisition and transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Recent studies have shown that significant rates of asymptomatic GC and CT infection are found at the extragenital oropharygeal and rectal sites in MSM, with or without concurrent urogenital infection. However, extragenital sites are not being routinely screened and, thus, many asymptomatic GC and CT infections at the oropharyngeal and rectal sites may go undiagnosed. This review will begin with the current evidence-based screening recommendations for extragenital GC and CT in MSM. This will be followed by recently reported extragenital GC and CT infection rates in asymptomatic MSM, and a discussion of the risks and potential implications of undiagnosed extragenital GC and CT infections. Finally, a discussion on the frequency of, and potential barriers to, screening will be presented with a summary of potential interventions for increasing screening frequency found in the literature. The scope of this review will focus primarily on U.S. recommendations, infection rates, and screening frequencies, with the inclusion of relevant international recommendations and studies for comparative and illustrative purposes.