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Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Dec;53 Suppl 3:S84-91. doi: 10.1093/cid/cir697.

Sexually transmitted infections among women who have sex with women.

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Infectious Disease Bureau, Public Health Division, New Mexico Department of Health, Santa Fe, NM 87502, USA.


Women who have sex with women (WSW) are a diverse group with variations in sexual identity, sexual behaviors, sexual practices, and risk behaviors. WSW are at risk of acquiring bacterial, viral, and protozoal sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from current and prior partners, both male and female. Bacterial vaginosis is common among women in general and even more so among women with female partners. WSW should not be presumed to be at low or no risk for STIs based on sexual orientation, and reporting of same-sex behavior by women should not deter providers from considering and performing screening for STIs, including chlamydia, in their clients according to current guidelines. Effective delivery of sexual health services to WSW requires a comprehensive and open discussion of sexual and behavioral risks, beyond sexual identity, between care providers and their female clients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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