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Prevalence Rates of Sexually Transmitted Infections and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among African American Women Who Have Sex With Women

18 Years
Not Enrolling
Sexually Transmitted Infections, HIV Infections

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Trial Information

Prevalence Rates of Sexually Transmitted Infections and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among African American Women Who Have Sex With Women

Historically, women who have sex with women (WSW) have been thought to be at low risk for
acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STI), presumably due to the absence of genital
mucosal contact present during vaginal-penile sex or due to the assumption that the vaginal
mucosa experiences a lesser degree of trauma during female sex than during heterosexual sex.
This assumption has been challenged and debated over the past two decades. In addition, the
sexual health risks of WSW are only beginning to be understood.

To date the majority of research regarding STI in women has occurred in heterosexuals.
National and local surveillance data that estimate the risk for STI transmission between WSW
are limited, especially among African Americans. This is a group of women that may exhibit
distinctive behavioral characteristics that may put them at higher risk for sexually
transmitted infections STI and HIV than their Caucasian counterparts. This group of women
has traditionally been reluctant to discuss their sexual orientation with physicians for
fear of being stigmatized. The burden of STIs, including HIV, experienced by this group of
women is largely unknown.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Female

- Age 18 years or older

- African American race

- Sexual contact with another female within the past 6 months

- Ability to give written informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

- Male

- Age less than 18 years old

- Race other than African American

- No sexual contact with another woman within the past 6 months

- Pregnant

- Prior enrollment in this study

- Participants who, for any reason, in the opinion of the investigator, do not have the
ability to give written informed consent or may not be expected to comply with the
requirements of the protocol

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Observational Model: Case-Only, Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional

Outcome Measure:

Prevalence rates of sexually transmitted infections

Outcome Time Frame:

18 Months

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Leandro A Mena, MD, MPH

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

University of Mississippi Medical Center


United States: Institutional Review Board

Study ID:




Start Date:

February 2009

Completion Date:

June 2012

Related Keywords:

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • HIV Infections
  • African American women who have sex with women
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Homosexuality
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
  • Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Syphilis
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • HIV Infections
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases



Crossroads Clinic Jackson, Mississippi  39216