Letters

Sexually transmitted infections in women who have sex with women

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7130.556a (Published 14 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:556

Surveillance data should include this category of women

  1. Chris Ford, General practitionera,
  2. Kim Clarke, Research coordinatorb
  1. a Lonsdale Medical Centre, London NW6 6RR,
  2. b Substance Misuse and HIV Directorate, Lewisham and Guy's Mental Health NHS Trust, London SE1 1JJ
  3. c PHLS AIDS and STD Centre, PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London NW9 5EQ

    Editor—De Cock and Low call for the inclusion of further data, particularly on ethnicity, in the surveillance of sexually transmitted infections.1 We believe that more information relating to women's sexual and risk behaviour and acquisition of sexually transmitted infections should be included.

    We were amazed by the inadequacy of the data used in a recent presentation by a member of staff from the Public Health Laboratory Service Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre. When the rates of infection with all the common sexually transmitted infections were reported the data were broken down into three categories: men, homosexual men, and women. The reason why the inclusion of ethnic data is necessary has been highlighted,2 but no mention has been made of the omission of data relating to sexually transmitted infections that have been acquired by women who have sex with women.

    Monitoring forms routinely used by all genitourinary medicine clinics, which are analysed centrally, do not have a column for recording sexually transmitted …

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