Faculty Publications

Publication Date

January 2007


Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a significant health issue for lesbian andbisexual women. Older age and having a history of sexual intercourse with males are primary riskfactors for STIs among this population. However, little research has been conducted to assess sexualrisk among lesbian and bisexual college women exclusively. A cross-sectional Internet survey wasconducted with 230 self-identified lesbian and bisexual female college students to examine their sexualrisk and to determine with which, if any, STIs they had ever been diagnosed. Eight percent of lesbianand bisexual college women reported ever being diagnosed with an STI; the human papillomavirus,bacterial vaginosis, and genital herpes accounted for 84% of STI cases. Number of lifetime sex partnerswas significantly associated with an STI diagnosis among this population. Older age, engaging inpenile–vaginal intercourse with a male (lifetime), and younger age at first same-sex experience weresignificantly associated with a greater number of lifetime sex partners. Results may be useful to sexualhealth programs targeting lesbian and bisexual college women and/or their providers.


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