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Sexually transmitted infection rates among sexual minority US women aged 15 to 44 years who participated in the National Survey for Family Growth

Edvardsson, Hanna (2019) Sexually transmitted infection rates among sexual minority US women aged 15 to 44 years who participated in the National Survey for Family Growth. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Sexual minority individuals are an underserved and understudied population in the United States. However when comparing sexual minority women to men there are fewer interventions and studies for women when looking sexually transmitted infections (STis). There is some conflicting data regarding sexual health outcomes amongst sexual minority women, especially lesbians. This paper utilized data from two waves (2011-2013 and 2013-2015) of the National Survey for Family Growth (NSFG) in order to look for potential STI disparities at a national level in sexual minority women compared to heterosexual women.
The final analytical sample was 5,521 for the 2011-2013 cohort and 5,623 for the 2013-2015 cohort. A logistic regression was used in order to produce odds ratios of pairwise differences to compare heterosexual STI outcomes to bisexual and lesbian outcomes.
My research findings indicate statistically significant disparities between bisexual and heterosexual women in diagnosis of an STI in the last 12 months, lifetime chlamydia, and lifetime syphilis consistent across both waves of the NSFG. Lesbian women were found to have a statistically significant disparity in lifetime syphilis outcomes in the 2011-2013 wave and had the highest odds ratio of any group (OR=5.2). Despite this strong disparity in the earlier wave, the disparity was not present in the 2013-2105 wave. Small sample sizes and lower power for the sexual minority groups, lesbians in particular, may have resulted in unstable estimates which resulted in inconsistencies across waves.
Despite the limitations of this study, there is still statistically significant evidence showing that there is a disparity between bisexual and heterosexual women in STI outcomes. This is of public health importance as many STis have been on the rise in recent years and some, such as chlamydia, are becoming even harder to treat with antibiotics. If these disease are not addressed early enough there will be public health consequences down the road. Since bisexual women are disproportionately affected by STis, it is important to figure out what is causing the disparities and how we can address them and reduce the rates of STis in bisexual, as well as lesbian, women.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Edvardsson, HannaHAE18@pitt.eduHAE180000-0001-8656-8569
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHaggerty, Catherinehaggertyc@edc.pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberPallatino, Chelseachelsea.pallatino@gmail.comUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberKrier, Sarahsek29@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 24 April 2019
Date Type: Submission
Number of Pages: 31
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2019 21:33
Last Modified: 01 May 2021 05:15


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