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Am J Public Health. 2008 Jun;98(6):1051-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.080531. Epub 2008 Apr 29.

Dimensions of sexual orientation and HIV-related risk among adolescent females: evidence from a statewide survey.

Author information

1
Massachusetts Department of Education, 350 Main St, Malden, MA 021148, USA. cgoodenow@earthlink.net

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We examined the relationship of 2 dimensions of sexual orientation--sexual identity and sex of partners--with self-reported behaviors and experiences to identify factors that may place adolescent females at risk of HIV/AIDS.

METHODS:

We gathered data on sexually experienced female high school students from 4 waves of a population-based survey. We used logistic regression analyses to investigate the association between their sexual identity (3666 heterosexual; 184 lesbian, gay, or bisexual; 113 not sure) and sex of partners (3714 male only, 79 female only, and 180 both males and females) with HIV-related risk behaviors.

RESULTS:

Self-defined sexual identity was often inconsistent with sex of sexual partners. Sexual identities other than heterosexual and having same-sex partners (either exclusively or in addition to male partners) were associated with high rates of several HIV-related risk behaviors. Coerced sexual contact was significantly associated with every risk outcome. AIDS education in school predicted lower HIV risk on 4 of 6 indicators.

CONCLUSIONS:

Programs to prevent HIV infection among adolescent females should take into account the complexity of sexual orientation and should address the needs and behaviors of sexual-minority youths.

PMID:
18445809
PMCID:
PMC2377290
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2005.080531
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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