A large proportion of HIV-positive gay men in Switzerland have anorectal infection with chlamydia, investigators report in the November15th edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. The researchers suggest that undiagnosed anal chlamydia infections could be contributing to the continued spread of HIV amongst gay men in Switzerland.
Gay and other men who have sex with men remain the group most affected by HIV in many industrialised countries, including Switzerland. Sexually transmitted infections also disproportionately affect gay men. If left untreated these infections, including chlamydia, can significantly increase the risk of acquiring HIV. As reported on aidsmap.com UK investigators found that many chlamydia infections in gay men were in the rectum, and that HIV-positive gay men were disproportionately affected by rectal chlamydia
Investigators from the Swiss HIV cohort therefore postulated that anorectal chlaymdia infection could be contributing to the ongoing HIV epidemic amongst gay men in the country.
They therefore screened 147 HIV-positive men who reported unprotected receptive anal sex in the previous two years for the infection. The aims of their study were to determine the prevalence and symptoms of anorectal chlamydia, and to see if they could identify any risk factors associated with the infection.