• ABSTRACT
    • Modeling studies suggest that transmission of gonorrhea and chlamydia to multiple anatomic sites within the same person is necessary to reproduce observed high rates of extragenital gonorrhea/chlamydia. Limited empiric behavioral data support this idea. In this cross-sectional study, we enrolled individuals assigned male at birth who reported sex with men (MSM) and denied receptive anal sex (RAS) in the past 2¬†years. Participants enrolled in-person at the Sexual Health Clinic in Seattle, Washington (December 2019-September 2021) or online (July 2021-September 2021), and completed a sexual history questionnaire that asked about specific sexual acts and sequence of those acts during their last sexual encounter. We enrolled 210 MSM during the 16-month recruiting period. The median number of sex acts reported at last sexual encounter was 4 (interquartile range 3-5). The most commonly reported acts at last sex were: kissing (83%), receiving oral sex (82%), and insertive anal sex (65%). There was substantial variability in the sequence of acts reported; no unique sequence of sex acts was reported by more than 12% of the population. Ninety percent of participants reported sequences of behaviors that could lead to gonorrhea or chlamydia transmission within the same person (respondent or partner); the most common of these combinations was kissing followed by receiving oral sex (64% reporting). Engaging in multiple sex acts within a single sexual encounter is common and may lead to gonorrhea/chlamydia transmission within the same person. This complicates empiric measurements of transmission probabilities needed to estimate population-level transmission.