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Table 3 Example quotes around reasons for anal self-examination (Theme 1)

From: Exploring the attitudes of men who have sex with men on anal self-examination for early detection of primary anorectal syphilis: a qualitative study

Reason for performing anal self-examination Quote
Health concerns
 STI concerns “I will clean the area thoroughly, I might, you know put my finger up there a little bit, washing out with soap and everything normal on a daily basis, usually I don’t notice any problem. But the couple of times that I have noticed chancre before, they are easily noticeable, it’s not like they are so deep that I can’t notice casually. It is very easy for me to tell something if they shouldn’t be there.”
—Participant 1, living with HIV
 STI concerns “I previously got what felt like a urinary tract infection, which turned out to be chlamydia and gonorrhoea in the bum. At that time, I did check it out and something didn’t feel right,…. It just felt kind of hot and inflamed sort of. I knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t find out what it was.”
—Participant 17, not living with HIV and taking PrEP
Sexual stimulation/masturbation “I guess when I’m just sort of playing around on my own, I would sometimes stimulate that area. So, I kind of somewhat feel like I know what would be normal and not normal feel wise.”
—Participant 11, living with HIV
Hygiene/cleaning “Pretty much every week, because again, when I’m trimming and grooming and stuff, you’re always quite close, so I would notice if something was abnormal.”
—Participant 4, not living with HIV and taking PrEP