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Woman-to-Woman: HIV and STDs

June 1999

Woman-to-woman sexual practices have generally been associated with a lower risk of HIV transmission, but there have been a number of reported cases. The risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted disease (STD) transmission among this group has not been rigorously studied.

The few studies to date note that many women who have sex with women engage in a number of high-risk behaviors which may increase both the risk of getting and transmitting HIV. These other risk factors, such as intravenous (in the vein) drug use and unprotected sex with men, may be masking HIV transmission risks of woman-to-woman sex.

Good information on risks associated with woman-to-woman HIV transmission has not been collected. In the meantime, it's best to play safe and refrain from easy assumptions about HIV and STD transmission risks.

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