EMIS 2010 Journal Articles 2010

Impact of Migration and Acculturation on Turkish Men Who have Sex with Men in Germany: Results from the 2010 European MSM Internet Survey

Archives of Sexual Behavior. 2022. (doi: 10.1007/s10508-022-02468-4)

Authors: Axel J. Schmidt, Michael W. Ross, Rigmor C. Berg, Peyman Altan


To examine the impact of migration and acculturation of Turkish men who have sex with men (MSM) to Germany, using data from the European MSM Internet Survey (EMIS-2010), on measures of acculturation including circumcision status, internalized homonegativity (IH), HIV/STI knowledge, sexual orientation, outness, HIV-testing, and sexual behaviors.

We compared four groups of MSM: MSM born and residing in Germany who had completed the questionnaire in German (= 38,915), MSM born and residing in Germany, with a father or mother born in Turkey (= 97), MSM residing in Germany who were born in Turkey or whose parents were born in Turkey (= 262), and MSM who were born and residing in Turkey and who completed the questionnaire in Turkish (= 1,717).

Data showed that there were significant dose–response curves between level of migration and several outcome variables. As exposure to Germany increased, MSM had lower IH, higher HIV/STI knowledge, increased outness, and were less likely to be circumcised. There were similar significant findings with regard to sexual HIV risk behavior (condomless anal intercourse with partners of unknown (or sero-discordant) HIV status).

Data were consistent with acculturation over generations in immigrant groups in MSM migrating from Turkey to Germany. Integration includes both cultural aspects (circumcision) and integration into a more homopositive gay environment (IH, outness, increased HIV/STI knowledge), and sexual HIV risk behavior. Migration and associated acculturation may constitute a risk change for HIV/STI and mental health issues associated with IH and outness.

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EMIS 2017 Journal Articles 2017

Social and behavioural determinants of syphilis: Modelling based on repeated cross-sectional surveys from 2010 and 2017 among 278,256 men who have sex with men in 31 European countries

Lancet Reg Health Eur. 2022 Aug 9;22:100483. doi: 10.1016/j.lanepe.2022.100483. eCollection 2022 Nov.

Authors: Ana Mendez-Lopez, David Stuckler, Ulrich Marcus, Ford Hickson, Teymur Noori, Robert N Whittaker, Klaus Jansen, Asuncion Diaz, Lukasz Henszel, Annie Velter, Jan C Semenza, Axel J Schmidt


Background: Syphilis case notifications among men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) have increased markedly over the past two decades in Europe. We tested several potential factors for this resurgence.

Methods: Self-reported data from two cross-sectional waves of the European MSM Internet Survey (EMIS-2010 and EMIS-2017, N = 278,256 participants living in 31 European countries) were used to fit multivariable hierarchical logistic regression models designed to evaluate potential social, behavioural, and interventional determinants of syphilis diagnosis. Additional multivariable hierarchical negative binomial models investigated determinants of the number of non-steady male condomless anal intercourse (CAI) partners. We tested the hypothesis that more CAI and syphilis-screening are associated with syphilis resurgence, both linked to use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Findings: Between 2010 and 2017, incidence of syphilis diagnosis in the previous 12 months rose from 2.33% (95%CI: 2.26-2.40) of respondents reporting a syphilis diagnosis in 2010 compared with 4.54% (95%CI: 4.42-4.66) in 2017. Major factors contributing to syphilis diagnosis were living with diagnosed HIV (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.67, 95%CI: 2.32-3.07), each additional non-steady male CAI partner (aOR 1.01, 95%CI: 1.01-1.01), recency of STI-screening (previous month vs no screening, aOR 25.76, 95%CI: 18.23-36.41), selling sex (aOR 1.45, 95%CI: 1.27-1.65), and PrEP use (aOR 3.02, 95%CI: 2.30-3.96). Living with diagnosed HIV (adjusted incidence rate ratio (aIRR) 3.91, 95%CI: 3.77-4.05), selling sex (aIRR 4.39, 95%CI: 4.19-4.59), and PrEP use (aIRR 5.82, 95%CI: 5.29-6.41) were associated with a higher number of non-steady male CAI partners. The association between PrEP use and increased chance of syphilis diagnosis was mediated by STI-screening recency and number of non-steady male CAI partners, both substantially higher in 2017 compared to 2010.

Interpretation: Syphilis cases are concentrated in three MSM population groups: HIV-diagnosed, PrEP users, and sex workers. Behavioural and interventional changes, particularly more non-steady male CAI partners and recency of STI-screening, are major contributing factors for increasing syphilis diagnoses among MSM in Europe.

Funding: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

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