Lesbian and bisexual women are being incorrectly told they don’t need smear tests, LGBT charities say – Telegraph.co.uk

The human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes most cervical cancers, is passed on through intimate skin-to-skin contact, which includes sex between two women.

The partnership surveyed women on their experiences with sexual healthcare as part of the inaugural National Lesbian and Bisexual Women’s Health Week, which aims to highlight that “lesbian, bisexual and other women who have sex with women are experiencing a range of health inequalities and both face barriers to accessing healthcare and are having poor experiences when they do”.

Lesbian, bisexual and other women who have sex with women (LBWSW) lack acknowledgement both in mainstream society and LGBT communities, and to the NHS we are largely invisible,” says Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Elizabeth Barker in the foreword of the report published in November.  

“It is unacceptable that LBWSW continue to experience discrimination and that thoughtlessness compromises our healthcare.”

Other issues highlighted by the partnership’s report are that 21 per cent of bisexual women and 12 per cent of lesbian women reported a long-term mental health problem, compared with 4 per cent of heterosexual women, and that 29 per cent of lesbian and bisexual women report more binge drinking compared with 12 per cent in the general population of women.


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