The following is a summary of “Disparities in Sexually Transmitted Infection/HIV Testing, Contraception, and Emergency Contraception Care Among Adolescent Sexual Minority Women Who Are Racial/Ethnic Minorities,” published in the February 2023 issue of the Adolescent Health by Makrides et al.
In the United States, sexual minority women and women of color have a disproportionately high rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies. Yet, there is a lack of data on STI/HIV testing and contraceptive care among women of color who engage in sexual activity with both women and men. This research aimed to compare the rates of STI/HIV testing and contraceptive care utilization among sexually active adolescent females by sexual contact sex and racial/ethnic background. Researchers used data from the National Survey of Family Growth, which comprised 2,149 sexually active teen girls, as their sample (2011–2019).
They analyzed the following SRH services: sexually transmitted infection (STI) and HIV testing, contraceptive counseling; contraceptive method, emergency contraception (EC) counseling; and EC technique, in relation to the sex of sexual contact(s) and race/ethnicity. Disparities in service utilization were seen among adolescent females based on the gender of their sexual partner(s) and race or ethnicity. While the rates of STI and HIV testing and EC counseling are higher among women who have sex with both men and women, they are lowest among women who have sex only with other women.
While the rates of STI and HIV testing were better among non-Hispanic Black women than among their non-Hispanic White counterparts, the rates of receiving a form of contraception were lower among non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic women. When the data were broken down by the gender of the partners, racial and ethnic differences remained. For all adolescent women, there is a need for improved sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery that is not discriminatory based on the sex of the sexual contact(s) or the client’s race or ethnicity.