Back to Annual Meeting Page
American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
5080.0: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - 8:30 AM

Abstract #98515

Self-reported sexual behaviors and sexually transmitted infections among lesbian and bisexual college women

Lisa L. Lindley, DrPH, MPH, CHES1, Molly Kerby, MPH, PhD (c)2, Thomas Nicholson, PhD2, and Ning Lu, PhD, MPH2. (1) Department of Health Education and Behavior, University of Florida, PO Box 118210, Room 5 FLG, Gainesville, FL 32611, 352-392-0583 x1415, llindley@hhp.ufl.edu, (2) Public Health, Western Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University, One Big Red Way, Bowling Green, KY 42101-3576

Women who have sex with women (WSW) often do not perceive themselves to be at risk for HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Despite these perceptions, bacterial vaginosis, candida, genital herpes and the human papillomavirus have frequently been reported among adult WSW populations. In most instances, WSW diagnosed with an STI had no idea they were infected. Considering the sexual behaviors in which WSW most frequently report engaging, such as orogenital sex, vaginal penetration with fingers, and sharing of sex toys, it is possible that women with an undiagnosed infection unknowingly transmit an STI to their sex partners. With regard to the prevalence of STIs and sexual behaviors among younger populations of WSW, including lesbian and bisexual college women, very little is known. Thus, an Internet survey was conducted with 230 self-identified lesbian and bisexual college women to examine their sexual behaviors, including age of initiation of sex, number and sex of sex partners (lifetime and past three months), types of sexual behaviors in which they had ever engaged, and frequency of condom/barrier use. In addition, these young women were asked to report whether they had ever been forced to have sex, if they had ever been pregnant, and with which, if any, STIs they had ever been diagnosed during their lifetime. Significant differences in sexual behaviors were reported based on sexual orientation and gender atypicality of these women. Results may be useful to sexual health promotion and STI prevention programs targeting lesbian and bisexual college women.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Sexual Behavior, STD

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

HIV and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections in Women

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA