Older swingers an emerging risk groups at STI clinics

January 01, 0001

Older swingers an emerging risk groups at STI clinics

Identification of STI risk groups is essential for optimal prevention and medical care. Until now, swingers—that is, heterosexual couples who are practising mate swapping, group sex, visit sex clubs for couples, are not considered as a specific risk group for STI in healthcare services and prevention. The aim of this study was to compare STI prevalence rates in swingers with that in other risk groups. At the STI clinic, South Limburg, The Netherlands, whether an attendee is a swinger has been systematically registered since 2007. STI clinic surveillance data were analysed to assess the swingers' share of consultations and STI diagnoses—here Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and/or Neisseria gonorrhoea (NG).

Of 8971 consultations, 12% comprised swingers (median age 43 years). Overall, STI prevalence was highest in youth, men who have sex with men (MSM) and swingers. Older swingers had a CT prevalence of 10% and an NG prevalence of 4%. The share in STI diagnoses in the older age group (>45 years) comprised 55% for swingers and 31% for MSM.

The researchers concluded: "Swingers comprise a substantial proportion of STI consultations. They are a mainly older age group and form an important part of STI diagnoses. While other risk groups for STI, such as young heterosexuals and MSM, are systematically identified at STI healthcare facilities and provided with appropriate services, this is generally not the case for swingers. Swingers, like other groups with risk behaviours, need to be identified and treated as a risk group in STI prevention and care."

Probably worth asking as part of a sexual history.

For the full abstract, click here.

Sex Transm Infect published online 24 June 2010
© 2010 by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd
Older and swinging; need to identify hidden and emerging risk groups at STI clinics. Nicole H T M Dukers-Muijrers, Anne-Marie Niekamp, Elfi E H G Brouwers and Christian J P A Hoebe. Correspondence to Nicole Dukers-Muijrers: [email protected]

Category: HSR. Health Services Research. Keywords: swingers, swinging, STI, clinics, cohort study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 16 July 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.