Clinicians who routinely take patient sexual histories have the opportunity to assess patient risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and make appropriate recommendations for routine HIV/STD screenings. However, less than 40% of providers conduct sexual histories with patients, and many do not receive formal sexual history training in school. After partnering with a national professional organization of physicians, we trained 26 (US and US territory-based) practicing physicians (58% female; median age=48 years) regarding sexual history taking using both in-person and webinar methods. Trainings occurred during either a 6-h onsite or 2-h webinar session. We evaluated their post-training experiences integrating sexual histories during routine medical visits. We assessed use of sexual histories and routine HIV/STD screenings. All participating physicians reported improved sexual history taking and increases in documented sexual histories and routine HIV/STD screenings. Four themes emerged from the qualitative evaluations: (1) the need for more sexual history training; (2) the importance of providing a gender-neutral sexual history tool; (3) the existence of barriers to routine sexual histories/testing; and (4) unintended benefits for providers who were conducting routine sexual histories. These findings were used to develop a brief, gender-neutral sexual history tool for clinical use. This pilot evaluation demonstrates that providers were willing to utilize a sexual history tool in clinical practice in support of HIV/STD prevention efforts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases