Erectile dysfunction medications are being prescribed frequently; however, little is known about the amount of sexual health screening occurring in this setting.
A retrospective cohort study evaluating sexual health and sexually transmitted infection screening occurring in veterans receiving initial erectile dysfunction medication prescription was conducted.
A total of 252 patients received initial erectile dysfunction medication prescriptions between October 1, 2009, and December 31, 2009; had at least 1 health care provider visit 12 months before the date of initial prescription; and had no documentation of previous erectile dysfunction medication use. Approximately 3% of these patients had any aspect of a sexual history recorded in the 24 months surrounding initial erectile dysfunction medication prescription. Sexually transmitted infection screening was 9.9% for syphilis, 4.8% for HIV, and 4.3% for gonorrhea/chlamydia before prescription, with only a slight increase in HIV screening after prescription.
Minimal sexual health assessment is being performed during the time surrounding initial prescription of erectile dysfunction medication. Further work needs to evaluate patient and provider barriers to basic elements of sexual health care, such as taking sexual histories or screening for sexually transmitted infections.