HIV and Syphilis Infection among Men attending a Sexually Transmitted Infection Clinic in Puerto Rico

Vivian Colón-López, Ana P. Ortiz, Geetanjoli Banerjee, Alida M. Gertz, Hermes García


Objective: This study aimed to assess the demographic, behavioral, and clinical factors associated with HIV and syphilis infection among a sample of men attending a sexually transmitted infection clinic during 2009 to 2010 in San Juan, Puerto Rico (PR). Methods: A sample of 350 clinical records from men visiting the clinic for the first time during 2009 to 2010 was reviewed. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the study sample, and bivariate analyses were performed separately for HIV and syphilis to identify factors associated with these infectious diseases. Variables that were significantly associated (p<0.05) with HIV and syphilis in the bivariate analysis were considered for inclusion in the logistic regression models. Results: Overall, 11.2% and 14.1% of the men were infected with HIV and syphilis, respectively, and 5.1% were coinfected with HIV and syphilis. In multivariate logistic regression models, ever injecting drugs (POR = 8.1; 95%Cl 3.0, 21.8) and being a man who has sex with men (MSM) (POR = 5.3; 95%CI 2.3, 11.9) were positively associated with HIV infection. Being a man older than 45 years (POR = 4.0; 95%CI:1.9, 8.9) and being an MSM (POR = 2.5; 95%CI: 1.3, 4.9) were both significantly associated with syphilis infection. Conclusion: These findings reinforce the need for greater education and prevention efforts for HIV and other STIs among men in PR, particularly those who are MSM. However, there is a need to make an a priori assessment of the level of health literacy in the members of this group so that a culturally sensitive intervention can be provided to the men who attend this STI clinic.


HIV; Syphilis; Epidemiology; MSM; Men; Puerto Rico

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