via About.com, by Mark Cichocki, R.N.

As we look at the data; as we examine the trends; it’s clear to me that many people are falling short of what’s needed to address the problem of unprotected anal sex among straight and gay women.

Since the onset of the HIV epidemic researchers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have conducted numerous studies to calculate and identify behaviors that offer the highest risk of HIV infection. A study conducted in 1999 found that receptive unprotected anal sex carried the highest risk of HIV infection. That makes sense if you think about it. The anal mucosa are very friable and easily damaged especially during anal sex; an act that in relative terms can be very traumatic to the anal mucosa. It’s for this reason that numerous prevention messages are targeted to people who engage in unsafe anal sex. However, while safer anal sex messages are targeted to gay men, prevention programs often overlook another group of people who engage in anal sex; namely women, straight, bisexual, and gay.

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