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Women Health. 1996;24(2):1-15.

Women who have sex with other women: HIV seroprevalence in New York State counseling and testing programs.

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Division of HIV Prevention, New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute, Albany 12237, USA.


This report provides HIV seroprevalence data for women who are sexually active with women (WSW) choosing to access services in four of New York State's counseling and testing programs from January 1993 to June 1994. During that period, these programs tested 27,370 women. When questioned about sexual activity since 1978, 3.7% of these women reported sexual activity exclusively with women, 5.3% reported sexual activity with both women and men and 90.1% reported sexual activity exclusively with men. HIV seroprevalence in women sexually active exclusively with women in this sample was calculated at 3.0%, at 4.8% in women sexually active with both women and men and at 2.9% in women sexually active exclusively with men. According to the self-reported data in this study, injecting drug use is, by far, the predominant risk factor for seropositive WSW. Significant HIV-related public health/preventative implications for WSW and their service providers are suggested by this data, including the need for prevention education targeted to WSW who are IDUs, the need to provide culturally sensitive education to WSW detailing safer sexual behaviors both with women and with men as well as the need for evaluation of all risk factors when providing risk reduction education to WSW.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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