Rectal Douching Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Paris: Implications for HIV/STI Risk Behaviors and Rectal Microbicide Development.


Rectal douching is a common but potentially risky practice among MSM; MSM who douche may be ideal candidates for rectal microbicides as HIV prevention. Herein we explored rectal douching and its association with condomless receptive anal intercourse (CRAI), group sex, rates of HIV and other STIs, and likelihood to use rectal microbicide gels. We recruited a sample of 580 MSM from a geosocial-networking smartphone application in Paris, France in 2016. Regression models estimated adjusted risk ratios (aRRs) for associations between rectal douche use and (1) engagement in CRAI, (2) group sex, (3) self-reported HIV and STI diagnoses, and (4) likelihood to use rectal microbicide gels for HIV prevention. 54.3% of respondents used a rectal douche or enema in the preceding 3 months. Douching was significantly associated with CRAI (aRR: 1.77), participation in group sex (aRR: 1.42), HIV infection (aRR: 3.40), STI diagnosis (aRR: 1.73), and likelihood to use rectal microbicide gels (aRR: 1.78). Rectal douching is common among MSM, particularly those who practice CRAI, and rectal microbicide gels may be an acceptable mode of HIV prevention for MSM who use rectal douches.

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