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Lesbian health care. What a primary care physician needs to know.


West J Med. 1995 May;162(5):463-6. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE

Many primary care physicians take care of lesbians and women sexually active with women without being aware of their patients' sexual orientation. These women have unique medical and psychosocial needs that each physician must consider. Lesbian identity or being sexually active exclusively with women influences care in areas such as sexually transmitted diseases, risk of human immunodeficiency virus infection, counseling, cancer risk, screening, parenting, depression, alcohol use, and violence. We review an approach to taking a history with all women that facilitates open, comfortable communication with lesbians. We also review specific medical and psychosocial areas of primary care in which caring for lesbians is different from caring for other women. Further research is needed on lesbian health issues to provide appropriate guidelines to clinicians.

Adolescence Female *Homosexuality, Female Human HIV Infections/TRANSMISSION Medical History Taking Neoplasms/DIAGNOSIS *Primary Health Care Sexually Transmitted Diseases/TRANSMISSION Social Problems JOURNAL ARTICLE REVIEW REVIEW, TUTORIAL


Information in this article was accurate in September 30, 1995. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.