Objectives: To identify the prevalence and correlates of engaging in unprotected sex while experiencing symptoms of gonorrhea among a sample of men with a laboratory confirmed diagnosis.
Methods: Cross-sectional interview data were analyzed from 237 men, reporting dysuria or discharge, with a laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of gonorrhea.
Results: A total of 21.1% reported engaging in unprotected sex while having symptoms. In multivariate analyses, men engaging in sex ≥5 times in the past 30 days were 3.5 times more likely to report unprotected sex while symptomatic (P = 0.001). Men reporting condom use ≤50% of the time (past month) were 2.7 times more likely to report the risk behavior under investigation (P = 0.008). Men never having a previous STD were 2.7 times more likely to engage in the risk behavior (P = 0.006).
Conclusions: The prevalence of this risk behavior was markedly lower compared to a recent study that was not restricted to gonorrhea. Counseling protocols specifically designed for men who continue to engage in unprotected sex after experiencing gonorrhea-related dysuria and discharge may be valuable for preventing the transmission of gonorrhea to women.