Background: There is no data available assessing the sexual risk behaviors and prevalence rates of common sexually transmitted infections (STI) among AAWSW living in the southeastern
Objectives: To determine the prevalence rates of STIs in a cross-section of sexually active AAWSW living in
Methods: Participants of a Women’s Reproductive Health Program at a local STD clinic were approached if they were AA, 18 years or older, and reported sex with another woman within the past 6 months. They underwent testing for (1) TV culture with InPouch, (2) CT/GC using Aptima CA2, (3) MG using TMA, (4) Syphilis with RPR, and (5) HIV using Unigold rapid test. A survey on demographical and risk behavior characteristics was completed.
Results: 108 AAWSW have been enrolled. Mean age was 24.7 ± 5.4 SD. 59.3% identified as homosexual and 31.48% as bisexual. 78/87 (86.9%) reported a lifetime history of sex with a man while 48/93 (51.6%) reported a history of sex with a man within the past 12 months. Overall, 32/108 (29.6%) were diagnosed with at least one STI. Rates of TV, CT, GC, MG, syphilis, and HIV were 22.2%, 12.0%, 5.6%, 4.6%, 0%, and 0%, respectively. The odds of having CT GC, and MG for women with a male partner in the past 12 months were 7.48 (p<0.01). Recent sex with men did not predict infection with TV.
Conclusions: In this cohort of AAWSW, recent sex with men was common and predicted infection with CT, GC, and MG but not TV. Overall, prevalence of CT, GC, MG, and TV was high and comparable to heterosexual AA women receiving STI services.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research: Reproductive health services provided to AAWSW should take into account partner gender heterogeneity when screening for STI.