Young Women Who Have Sex with Women – Falling Thru the Cracks for Sexual Health Care (2001)

This article, published by Advocates for Youth, focuses on the risks that young women who have sex with women (YWSW) face.  It is often assumed that YWSW are at little or no risk for HIV, other STIs and unintended pregnancies when in fact, YWSW can be at risk for all three.

Interesting data and statistics include–

  • “Some women who have sex with women are uncomfortable with routine gynecological care, including PAP smears and STI screening.”
  • “98% of the 347 women who reported having sex only with other women also reported other risk behaviors, such as injection drug use.”
  • Many YWSW also have sexual intercourse with men, including men who have sex with other men.

Health care providers and researchers take incomplete sexual histories and often overlook YWSW altogether.  There is a lack of prevention messages targeted towards these youth and an assumption that YWSW are “too young” to identify as lesbian or participate in risk behaviors.

Tips and recommendations are included to facilitate the improvement of health care of YWSW and target their health needs.

Citation: Gilliam, J. Young Women Who Have Sex with Women: Falling through the Cracks for Sexual Health Care. (2001). Advocates for Youth-Issues at a Glance.

Link to PDF of “Young Women Who Have Sex with Women: Falling through the Cracks for Sexual Health Care”

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