Lesbians less likely to get tested for cervical cancer than straight or bisexual counterparts
Lesbians are less likely to get tested for cervical cancer, new research suggests.
A report by academics at Rice University examined the relationship between sexual orientation and pap smears in 15 states from 2000 and 2010.
It found that gay women were 25 percent less likely to get tested at regular intervals than their straight or bisexual counterparts.
Mammograms, which test for breast cancer, were found to be around the same rate for gay, bisexual and straight women.
Researchers examined what they described as “timely” tests.
This involved monitoring whether women over 40 had a mammogram every two years and 25 to 65-year-olds took a pap smear every three years.
Alexa Solazzo, the study’s lead author, said it was possible the difference could be down to birth control.
“Many doctors require women who seek a birth-control prescription to have had a recent pap test,” she said.
“Women who don’t have sex with men might theoretically have less of a need for birth control than women who do have sex with men (i.e., heterosexual or bisexual women). Thus, they may be less likely to seek care at an OB-GYN and receive a pap test.”
Data released yesterday showed that HIV infections in young gay and bisexual men have soared – even though rates overall dropped.