via, by Tracy Clark-Flory

Women are skipping the condoms when it comes to, well, the backdoor.

It seems women have a safe sex blind spot when it comes to anal sex, according to a new report by the New York City Health Department. Far fewer women consistently use condoms during anal sex than men who sleep with men; 23 percent and 61 percent, respectively.

It’s easy to understand how some women might rationalize condomless anal sex, much like virginity pledges who, conveniently enough, don’t count oral or anal sex as sex. If it doesn’t “count” as sex sex, and there is no risk of pregnancy, why use protection? But, boy, does it ever count: As the report’s press release explains, “past studies suggest that anal exposure to HIV poses 30 times more risk than vaginal exposure.” Sadly, the new study finds that women who have anal sex without condoms are less likely to get regular STD tests than women who consistently use protection.

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