Assessing Disparities in Emergency Contraception Care Among Gay Women of Color

By Rob Dillard - Last Updated: November 18, 2022

Researchers sought to analyze how sexually active adolescent women who have sex with women only and are racial/ethnic minorities receive sexually transmitted infection (STI)/HIV testing and emergency contraceptive care. The results were published in The Journal of Adolescent Health.

“Sexual minority women and racial/ethnic minority women in the United States are at increased risk for sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy,” the researchers wrote. “Yet, we know little about STI/HIV testing and contraceptive care among women who have sex with women only and women who have sex with both women and men, and who are racial/ethnic minorities.”

This study comprised 2149 sexually active adolescent women from the National Survey of Family Growth. The investigators assessed receipt of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services by sex of sexual contact(s) and by race/ethnicity. They analyzed STI and HIV testing, contraceptive counseling, contraceptive method, emergency contraception (EC) counseling, and EC method.

The results showed that rates of receiving contraceptive care were low for all adolescent women, with disparities observed by sex of sexual contact(s) and by race/ethnicity. The researchers noted that women who have sex with women had the lowest rates across all services. Black women had higher rates of STI and HIV testing than their White counterparts, while Black and Hispanic women showed lower rates of receiving contraception than White women.

“There is an unmet need for improved SRH service delivery for all adolescent women and for services that are not biased by sex of sexual contact(s) and race/ethnicity,” the researchers concluded.

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