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Sex Transm Dis. 2018 Dec;45(12):775-782. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000889.

Heterosexual Anal and Oral Sex in Adolescents and Adults in the United States, 2011-2015.

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From the Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.



Heterosexual anal and oral sex are related to the acquisition and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). As common reportable STDs (chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis) in the United States are increasing, it is important to understand recent oral and anal sexual behaviors.


We examined the prevalence and correlates of heterosexual anal and oral sex, associated condom use, and having multiple partners among men and women aged 15 to 44 years.


Approximately one third of women and men had ever engaged in anal sex, including 11% of adolescents (15-19 years). Most women and men had ever received or given oral sex (at >75%). Six percent and 7% of women and men, respectively, used a condom at last oral sex compared with 20% and 30% who used a condom at last anal sex. Having multiple sex partners in the past year was most common among adolescents, never or formerly married persons, and those who had a nonmonogamous partner. Less than 10% reported multiple anal sex partners in the past year. A substantial minority had multiple oral or anal sex partners; black women and men had the highest reports of oral sex partners by race/ethnicity.


Anal and oral sex are common sexual practices. Given the low rates of condom use during these behaviors, it is important that recommendations for sexual risk assessments are followed. Tailored messaging regarding risk for STD and human immunodeficiency virus acquisition during oral and anal sex may benefit adolescents, singles, and divorced individuals. Future discussions regarding the benefits of extragenital STD testing for heterosexuals may be useful.

[Available on 2019-12-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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