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J LGBT Health Res. 2007;3(4):37-51.

Present but not accounted for: exploring the sexual risk practices and intervention needs of nonheterosexually identified women in a prevention program for women with HIV/AIDS.

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Drexel University School of Public Health, 1505 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA.


Nonheterosexually identified (NHI) women may be present, but not accounted for, in HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention interventions. This study used quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the sexual risk behaviors and intervention needs of NHI women in Protect and Respect, a safer sex intervention for HIV-positive women. Study participants (n=32) were predominantly Black, low income, and between 28 and 51 years old. Although NHI participants were more likely than heterosexual participants (p < .05) to report obtaining their income from sex work, hustling, or selling drugs; and having a higher median number of male sex partners, qualitative analyses revealed that the intervention often neglected NHI women's experiences and unique safer sex needs. Heterosexist HIV and STI prevention programs may hinder NHI women's ability to protect themselves and their partners from reinfection and infection respectively. We discuss the implications of our research for future HIV/AIDS and STI research, services and interventions for NHI women.

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