Beyond assumptions of negligible risk: sexually transmitted diseases and women who have sex with women

Am J Public Health. 2001 Aug;91(8):1282-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.91.8.1282.


Objectives: This study evaluated the association of female-female sexual behavior with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Methods: Female participants (n = 286) were recruited from the Twin Cities Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Pride Festival. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between female-female sexual behavior and STDs.

Results: Women in all partner history groups, including 13% of women with only female partners, reported a history of STD. Increased sexual exposures with women predicted an increase in the likelihood of STDs after known risk factors had been controlled. Neither number of female partners nor number of exposures was associated with obtaining regular STD testing.

Conclusions: The risk of STDs through female-female sexual exposure is not negligible. Nevertheless, patterns of STD testing do not reflect this risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Homosexuality, Female / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Probability
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / transmission
  • Surveys and Questionnaires