STD Screening for MSM (Men who have Sex with Men)

STD Screening for MSM (Men who have Sex with Men)

MSM stands for Men who have Sex with Men. There are many other terms used to describe MSM such as Gay Men and Homosexual Men. These are unhelpful labels which might not apply to you. If you are a man and ever have had sex with another man then there are specific STD concerns that apply to you.

The fact is MSM are at a higher risk for HIV and other STDs such as Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Herpes and Warts. There could be several reasons for this. First, the anal canal is not designed for sex. There is a greater chance of tearing and bleeding of the anal canal during sex. This increases the chance of catching HIV and other STDs. Secondly, because many safe sex campaigns are targeted at MSM, this can lead to ‘safe sex burnout’.

Read: Symptoms of Syphilis & Different stages of Syphilis infection

This results in MSM not taking the usual precautions and protection during sex.

STD and HIV screening in MSM must be conducted in a rational, scientific and non-judgemental fashion. Also, it takes unique experience, skill, techniques and testing procedures to properly screen for STD and HIV in MSM.

Read: What are the different infections that cause penile discharge?

Read: STD Risk From Receptive Anal Sex in Men

Our Doctors are specially trained to provide all these services to you in an absolutely discrete setting.

STD and HIV screening is recommended to be conducted at least once a year for MSM. In fact, for MSM of higher risk, screening every 3 to 6 months is recommended. Aside from the regular HIV and STD screening, MSM must take extra careful note of the following:

HIV Screening for MSM

Statistically MSM are at a significantly higher risk of HIV. HIV testing is recommended every 3 to 6 months. The Doctor will recommend different HIV tests depending on the time of exposure.

HIV PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) is a course of medicines that if taken within 72 hours of exposure to HIV has up to a 90% chance of preventing HIV infection. If you have had unprotected anal sex and think you are at risk of HIV, speak to our doctors immediately about HIV PEP.

HIV PREP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a course of medicines taken before exposure to HIV that has up to a 90% chance of preventing HIV infection. If you think you might be in a situation that you might be exposed to HIV, speak to your Doctor about HIV PREP. These situations are usually events or parties that involve the use of recreational substances.

Comprehensive Screening for Man-Who-Have-Sex-With-Man (MSM)
Blood – Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and II, Urine – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichonomas, NSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Urine Culture, Candida Swab – Throat and Rental Swab for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea, PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction)

It is a serious disease that can lead to blood vessel and brain damage. The initial symptom is a painless ulcer that can be in the anus and therefore not easily seen. Early detection can lead to a complete and early cure.

Aside from screening from the penis, MSM who have receptive oral or anal sex should also test for this STD from the Throat an Anus/Rectum.

Throat Gonorrhea
Throat Gonorrhoea is actually harder to cure than urethral gonorrhoea. This means that with the usual dose of antibiotics, the Gonorrhoea in the throat usually persists.

Rectal Gonorrhea
Rectal Gonorrhea (aka Anal Gonorrhea, The Clap) is an infection of the Rectum by the bacteria Neisseria Gonorrhea.It can also infected the anus and this is called Proctitis.
Rectal Gonorrhea is associated with HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) infection of the anus and the peri-anal region (area around the anus). This may cause you to develop warts.
It is the most common STD in Singapore. Aside from screening from the Penis, MSM who have anal sex should also test for this STD from the Anus/Rectum.

It is a common STD and an essential part of STD screening.

Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
The prevalence of Hepatitis A, B and C among MSM is high. Vaccination is a very cost effective way to prevent such infections. If you already have been vaccinated, speak to your Doctor about doing a serologic test to ensure the antibodies are enough.

Peri-Anal Warts
They are very common in MSM who have receptive anal sex. It is caused by the HPV virus. There is no blood or urine test for this. Doctor will have a check on your peri-anal area carefully for the presence of warts.

HPV and Anal Cancer
Certain strains of HPV will not cause warts but might increase the risk of Anal Cancer. This is more so in MSM who also suffer from HIV. Speak to your Doctor about doing an anal swab fro cancer causing HPV and anal cancer.

Understanding Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD): A Guidebook to Better Sexual Health for Man Who Have Sex With Man (MSM)

Understanding Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD):
A Guidebook to Better Sexual Health for
Man Who Have Sex With Man (MSM)


(2 of the 6 free eBooks on health that matters to everyone)

“The aims of this book is to shed light into how STIs that affect Men who have sex with men (MSM), their sexual health and well-being.

We hope to use this book as a guide to educate our readers on the symptoms of STIs.

It is important to go for screening if you develop symptoms. Being diagnosed and treated early helps prevent future complications.

We always believe in promoting greater sexual health knowledge, so that the community at large can take charge and make informed decisions for their sexual well-being.

While running a clinic that is part of the MOH anonymous HIV screening program,
it is inevitable that we end up conducting a fair bit of HIV screening.

In the course of our work, we have noticed the rising rates of people contracting HIV.

We also have a forum ( for Sexual Health, STIs, HIV & AIDS prevention and treatment.

The materials in this book should be used as a guide. Many STIs do NOT cause symptoms and symptoms can be mild.

Please visit your physician or our doctors at Dr. Tan and Partners clinic at Robertson Quay (Approved Anonymous HIV Screening Clinic) for more guided tests.” – Dr Tan and Partners

Table of Contents:

1. What are Sexual Transmitted Infections
2. What is HIV
3. How is HIV Transmitted
4. Understanding Window Period
5. The Signs & Symptoms of STI
6. The Signs & Symptoms of HIV and AIDS
7. STI Symptoms for Insertive Anal Sex
8. Prostatitis and Bareback
9. Chlamydia Trachomatis (CT)
10. STI Symptoms and Oral Sex
11. Throat Gonorrhea and Oral Sex
12. Getting HIV from Oral Sex
13. STI Symptoms & Receptive Anal Sex
14. Rectal Gonorrhea and Anal Sex
15. Perianal Warts and Receptive Anal sex
16. Syphilis and MSM
17. Testing for STIs
18. Anonymous HIV Testing
19. How to Protect yourself from STIs & HIV
20. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination
21. HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)
22. HIV Pre-exposure prophylaxis (HIV Prevention)
23. Hotline

Check out our blog on Men’s Health:

Useful links


Need more advice?

Come down to Our Clinics for a discussion with Our Doctors, or call our clinics for more information.