HealthDay News — For rural men who have sex with men, disclosure of sexual identity is associated with increased uptake of HIV testing and hepatitis vaccinations, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Nicholas Metheny, MPH, RN, and Rob Stephenson, PhD, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, analyzed data from a national survey of 319 rural men who have sex with men. They examined whether there was a correlation between disclosure of sexual identity to clinicians and uptake of HIV testing and hepatitis vaccines.

The researchers observed a significant correlation for disclosure of sexual identity to clinicians with uptake of routine HIV testing and hepatitis A and B vaccinations (odds ratio, 1.26).

“For rural men who have sex with men, being fully out to their clinician and talking openly about their sexuality is a fundamental gateway to receiving appropriate sexual health services,” the authors write. “This finding reinforces evidence that clinicians make more population-specific preventative health recommendations when sexuality is freely discussed.”

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