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Medical News

Dimensions of Sexual Orientation and HIV-Related Risk Among Adolescent Females: Evidence From a Statewide Survey

September 5, 2008

In order to identify factors that may place adolescent females at risk of HIV/AIDS, the researchers assessed the relationship of two dimensions of sexual orientation -- sexual identity, and sex of partners -- with self-reported behaviors and experiences.

Data were gathered on sexually experienced high school females from four waves of a population-based survey. Of the subjects, 3,666 identified as heterosexual; 184 as lesbian, gay or bisexual; and 113 as not sure. There were 3,714 participants who reported only male sex partners; 79 who reported only female partners; and 180 who reported male and female partners. Logistic regression analyses were employed to investigate associations between sexual identity and sex of partners with HIV risk behaviors.

"Self-defined sexual identity was often inconsistent with sex of sexual partners," the authors wrote. Reporting sexual identities other than heterosexual and having same-sex partners, either exclusively, or with male partners as well, were associated with high rates of several HIV risk behaviors. A significant association was noted between coerced sex and every risk outcome. Having received AIDS education in school predicted lower HIV risk on four of six indicators.

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The researchers concluded, "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."

Back to other news for September 2008

Adapted from:
Am Journal of Public Health
06.2008; Vol. 98; No. 6: P. 1051-1058; Carol Goodenow, Ph.D.; Laura A. Szalacha, Ed.D.; Leah E. Robin, Ph.D.; Kim Westheimer, M.A.


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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