Ford Hickson

Ford Hickson
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | LSHTM · Sigma Research

PhD, BA, BSc

About

176
Publications
28,000
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4,114
Citations
Citations since 2016
58 Research Items
2604 Citations
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Introduction
Ford Hickson currently works at the Sigma Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Ford does research in Epidemiology, Infectious Diseases and Qualitative Social Research. Their current project is Measuring Sex, Gender & Sexual Orientation in Population Health Research.

Publications

Publications (176)
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: The population of men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) includes people who are on the masculine spectrum but were assigned female at birth (AFAB), that is trans MSM. This study aims to identify current circumstances regarding sexual happiness and safety among German trans MSM. To date, there is no health information about trans MSM in Ger...
Article
Full-text available
Background Despite being vaccine-preventable, hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreaks occur among men who have sex with men (MSM). We modelled the cost-effectiveness of vaccination strategies to prevent future outbreaks. Methods A HAV transmission model was calibrated to HAV outbreak data for MSM in England over 2016-2018, producing estimates for the ba...
Article
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Background To provide empirically based guidance for substituting partner number categories in large MSM surveys with mean numbers of sexual and condomless anal intercourse (CAI) partners in a secondary analysis of survey data. Methods We collated data on numbers of sexual and CAI partners reported in a continuous scale (write-in number) in thirte...
Article
Full-text available
Modelling suggests hepatitis C virus (HCV) elimination is possible among men‐who‐have‐sex‐with‐men (MSM), with key screening groups including HIV‐diagnosed MSM and MSM using pre‐exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Mathematical modelling was used to determine the cost‐effectiveness of HCV case‐finding strategies among MSM from the provider perspective, and...
Article
Introduction In the last decade diagnoses of most STIs have risen among men who have sex with men (MSM). Although a significant proportion of this is likely due to increased STI screening, understanding the role of behavioural drivers remains critical. We measure the associations between stimulant use to enhance and prolong sexual experiences (chem...
Article
Full-text available
Men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) carry a disproportionate burden of sexually transmitted infections across Europe. Health planners require sexual health needs assessment data to respond appropriately. In addition, surveillance of risk and precaution behaviours in this population enables evaluative judgements of policy responses. The European MSM Int...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Rectal STIs compromise health and are common in men who have sex with men (MSM). However, the European-MSM-Internet-Survey (EMIS-2010) showed that in 2010, the prevalence of anal swabbing during STI screening by MSM varied widely across 40 European cities. In this paper, we replicate a variety of measures of STI testing performance using...
Article
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Some men who have sex with men (MSM) were assigned female at birth (AFB) and/or identify as trans men. Little is known about how these men differ from other MSM. We compared sexual and mental health indicators from the European MSM Internet Survey (EMIS-2017), comparing men AFB and/or currently identifying as trans men with those assigned male at b...
Poster
BACKGROUND: Men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) are the subpopulation at greatest risk of HIV in Europe. HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has great potential to interrupt transmission. Prevention cascades have been proposed to focus primary HIV prevention programmes on the most commonly unmet needs. We constructed a PrEP cascade for MSM and compared...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Young people aged 16 to 24 have the highest prevalence of genital chlamydia and gonorrhoea compared with other age groups and re-infection rates following treatment are high. Long-term adverse health effects include subfertility and ectopic pregnancy, particularly among those with repeated infections. We developed the safetxt intervent...
Article
Full-text available
Background Routine HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and HIV care appointments provide opportunities for screening men who have sex with men (MSM) for hepatitis C virus infection (HCV). However, levels of screening required for achieving the WHO elimination target of reducing HCV incidence by 90% by 2030 among all MSM are unknown. Methods An HCV...
Article
Full-text available
In 2019, only 14 European and Central Asian countries provided reimbursed HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Using EMIS-2017 data, we present the differ-ence between self-reported use and expressed need for PrEP in individual countries and the European Union (EU). We estimate that 500,000 men who have sex with men in the EU cannot access PrEP, al...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Quantify non-attendance at sexual health clinics and explore help-seeking strategies for genitourinary symptoms. Design Sequential mixed methods using survey data and semistructured interviews. Setting General population in Britain. Participants 1403 participants (1182 women) from Britain’s Third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background Routine HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and HIV care appointments provide opportunities for screening men who have sex with men (MSM) for hepatitis C virus infection (HCV). However, levels of screening required for achieving the WHO elimination target of reducing HCV incidence by 90% by 2030 among all MSM are unknown. Methods An HCV...
Conference Paper
Background In Europe and the Americas, men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) are heavily affected by HIV. Having traditionally relied mainly on condoms and sero-adaptive behaviours to prevent HIV transmission, more recently biomedical prevention strategies such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among HIV-negative and viral suppression among HIV-diagnose...
Article
Background Illicit drug use among men who have sex with men (MSM) has been associated with sexual risk and HIV. Less is documented about associations with other sexually transmissible infections (STIs). The aim of the present study was to determine whether the use of drugs commonly associated with chemsex is associated with increased risk of gonorr...
Article
OBJECTIVES: HIV disproportionately affects men who have sex with men (MSM) in Ireland. The aim of this study was to improve understanding of HIV testing among MSM living in Ireland to inform prevention and testing initiatives. METHODS: We used data from the MSM Internet Survey Ireland 2015 (MISI 2015), a cross-sectional survey of MSM living in Ire...
Article
Objectives: MSM Internet Survey Ireland (MISI) 2015 was an anonymous, self-completed, cross-sectional internet survey assessing sexual behaviours and health needs among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Ireland. We explored factors associated with self-reported STI diagnosis among MSM who were sexually active and had an STI test in the previous y...
Article
Background: Evidence to understand which gay and bisexual men (GBM) inject drugs remains scant, especially in the UK. We describe correlates of last-year injecting in UK GBM, and characterise subgroups of GBM who inject drugs by types of drugs used. Methods: Using data from the 2014 Gay Men's Sex Survey, an opportunistic internet-based survey co...
Article
Background: Analysis of specific drug use patterns in men who have sex with men (MSM) is important in targeting HIV prevention and harm reduction interventions and in developing a fuller picture of drug use in context beyond consideration of use of specific drugs in isolation. Objectives: We sought to develop a typology of recent drug use in MSM...
Article
Sexual sessions between men, organised through mobile technologies and combined with stimulants intended to extend and intensify the session have been reified into the phenomena of 'chemsex'. Understanding chemsex requires multiple levels of analysis and interpretation. This paper considers chemsex through the lens of edgework, a sociological categ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Despite effective and accessible treatments, many sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in high-income countries go untreated, causing poor sexual health for individuals and their partners. Research into STI care has tended to focus on biomedical aspects of infections using patient samples and prioritised attendance at healthcare servic...
Article
Background: Uncertainty surrounds why hepatitis C virus (HCV) is concentrated among HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM). We used mathematical modelling to explore reasons for these infection patterns, and implications for HCV treatment-as-prevention. Methods: Using a joint MSM HIV/HCV transmission model parameterized with UK behavioural...
Article
Objectives: To examine ethnic group differences in HIV testing and sexual behaviours among a large sample of gay and bisexual men (GBM), 13?years after similar observations were made, assess national HIV prevention responses and inform planning priorities. Methods: Cross-sectional convenience self-completion online survey in summer 2014, designe...
Article
Background: Anecdotal evidence suggests that men who have sex with men (MSM) are increasingly combining sex and illicit drugs (an activity referred to as 'chemsex'), in particular GHB/GBL, ketamine, crystal meth, or mephedrone (here called 4-chems). Use of such drugs has been associated with mental health and sexual health harms. We aim to compare...
Article
Background: 'Chemsex' refers to the combining of sex and illicit drugs, typically mephedrone, GHB/GBL, and crystal methamphetamine. While numerous studies have examined the role of illicit drugs in sexual risk taking, less attention has been paid to the broader social context and structures of their use among gay men. Given their established role...
Article
: 'Chemsex' refers to the combining of sex and illicit drugs, typically mephedrone, GHB/GBL, and crystal methamphetamine. While numerous studies have examined the role of illicit drugs in sexual risk taking, less attention has been paid to the broader social context and structures of their use among gay men. Given their established role in influenc...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The British HIV Association's (BHIVA) testing guidelines recommend men who have sex with men (MSM) test annually or more frequently if ongoing risk is present. We identify which groups of MSM in England are less likely to have tested for HIV and their preferences for future tests by testing model, in order to inform health promotion prog...
Article
Background Analyses of drug use in men who have sex with men (MSM) have exclusively focused on examining individual drugs in isolation, and have not examined how different drug use patterns in combination are associated with socio-sexual variables. Understanding these patterns is important in targeting HIV prevention and harm reduction intervention...
Article
Background Crystal methamphetamine (‘meth’) use by men who have sex with men (MSM) is an ongoing public health issue in the UK. Concern has increased with the emergence of ‘chemsex’ in the last five years (combining of drugs with sex). Understanding the characteristics of MSM using meth is important to develop targeted harm reduction and HIV preven...
Article
Objectives There is considerable public health concern about the combining of sex and illicit drugs (chemsex) among gay men. With a view to inform supportive therapeutic and clinical interventions, we sought to examine the motivations for engaging in chemsex among gay men living in South London. Methods Community advertising recruited 30 gay men f...
Article
Full-text available
Background Social understandings of sexually transmitted infections and associated symptoms and care-seeking behaviour continue to lag behind advancements in biomedical diagnostics and treatment, perpetuating the burden of disease. There is a lack of research linking perceptions, experiences and care-seeking for sexual health issues, especially res...
Article
Background: Crystal methamphetamine ('crystal meth') use by men who have sex with men is an ongoing public health issue in the UK. We conducted a descriptive epidemiological study to characterise demographic and socio-sexual risk factors for crystal meth use in a national sample of UK MSM recruited in late 2014. Methods: We used data from the 20...
Article
Background/introduction There are both individual and public health benefits in people responding to genito-urinary symptoms effectively. Sexual health clinics are best equipped for managing symptoms but not everyone with symptoms chooses to attend. Aim(s)/objectives To examine the prevalence and meanings of genito-urinary symptoms and the impact...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Sexual minorities suffer worse mental health than the sexual majority but little is known about differences in mental health within sexual minorities. We aimed to describe inequality in mental health indicators among gay and bisexual men. Methods: Using multi-channel community-based opportunistic sampling we recruited 5799 eligible m...
Article
Background: Gay and bisexual men experience a disproportionate burden of ill health compared with the general male population. However, little is known regarding health inequalities that exist within this group. We describe five key physical health indicators and their variation across common axes of inequality. Methods: Community-based opportun...
Article
Epidemiological evidence for the encounter-level association between sexualised drug use and unprotected anal intercourse in men who have sex with men is unclear and has not examined men who have sex with men in England. To estimate this association, we compared dyadic sexual encounters within respondents. We used encounter-level data from a longit...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To examine sociodemographic and behavioural differences between men who have sex with men (MSM) participating in recent UK convenience surveys and a national probability sample survey. Methods We compared 148 MSM aged 18–64 years interviewed for Britain's third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3) undertaken in 20...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Background Although many within-subjects comparisons conducted on samples of men who have sex with men have sought to understand the association between specific situational characteristics (e.g. drug use or location of sex) and sexual risk behaviour, none have considered the 'clustering' of patterns of situational characteristics. An...
Article
Introduction Convenience samples of MSM are typically skewed towards gay-identified and community-attached men who do not necessarily represent all MSM, a key population for STI/HIV transmission. Comparing convenience samples with a probability sample of MSM enables us to assess their representativeness. Methods We compared 148 MSM in Britain’s thi...
Article
Chemsex is a colloquial term used by gay men in some parts of the UK to describe the use of psychoactive substances (typically mephedrone, GHB/GBL or crystal methamphetamine) during sex. Use of these drugs by gay men in London appears to have risen sharply from relatively low levels and, as yet, there is little data to inform appropriate harm reduc...
Article
Full-text available
'Chemsex' is a colloquial term used in the UK that describes sex under the influence of psychoactive substances (typically crystal methamphetamine, mephedrone and gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)/gamma-butyrolactone (GBL)). Recently, concern has been raised as to the impact of such behaviour on HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) transmission r...
Article
Previous event-level analyses have often, but not always, found significant associations between drug use and sexual risk behaviour in men who have sex with men (MSM), but these analyses have rarely considered either multipartner encounters specifically, or other sexual outcomes such as pleasure and control. Using data from an internet-based longit...
Article
This nested cross-sectional study of dyadic sexual encounters with new male partners reported by men living in England who have sex with men tested moderation between drug use and location of sex in associations with unprotected anal intercourse (UAI). Data were drawn from two waves of a longitudinal monthly internet survey of men living in England...
Article
Full-text available
Substantial country-level variation exists in prejudiced attitudes towards male homosexuality and in the extent to which countries promote the unequal treatment of MSM through discriminatory laws. The impact and underlying mechanisms of country-level stigma on odds of diagnosed HIV, sexual opportunities, and experience of HIV-prevention services, n...
Article
Full-text available
An estimated 42% of all newly diagnosed HIV cases in Europe in 2013 were transmitted during sex between men. This review was performed to identify and describe studies evaluating the efficacy and effectiveness of HIV prevention interventions among men who have sex with men (MSM), in relation to implementation data from European settings. A systemat...
Article
Full-text available
Background The preventive effects of antiretroviral treatment (ART) on onward transmission of HIV are a major reason for broadening eligibility for ART. In the WHO European Region, surveillance reveals substantial differences in access to ART across regions and sub-populations. We analysed self-reported data on ART and reasons for not taking ART fr...