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It is well known that women are more vulnerable to HIV infection, both due to physiological reasons, as well as social. Gender-based violence and discrimination disempower many women across the globe in terms of their ability to negotiate safer sex. Women who have sex with women WSW , lesbian and bisexual women face additional discrimination, both from society as well as in the health care environment. Additionally, because sex between women is seldom understood in its detail, most believe that it carries a zero risk of HIV transmission. Thus it is fair to say that the level of knowledge around HIV of WSW has never been prioritized even though they are a sexually active group and engaging in both same and heterosexual sex. Discrimination leads many of these women to lead a stealth lifestyle which means they engage in heterosexual sex and they need to be empowered to negotiate for that to be safer too. These realities are often considered unimportant by many in the field of HIV, using the excuse that this being a numerically small group of the population and thus not worth the focus.
Researchers asked more than bisexual women and those who report being attracted to more than one gender about their mental health, how open they are about their sexuality, their experiences with discrimination, and any symptoms of depression. Among their findings is that bisexual women in relationships with heterosexual cisgender men were least likely to be open about their sexual orientation. Bisexual women in relationships with cisgender lesbian women, bisexual cisgender women partners, and bisexual cisgender men partners were more likely to be out than those partnered with heterosexual men. Researchers speculated that bi women may be more comfortable disclosing their sexual orientation when in a relationship with a woman. However, bi women were more likely to be out with a bisexual male partner than a heterosexual male partner, suggesting that a shared bisexual identity might be meaningful. Xavier Hall also said that bisexual women experience two forms of stigma: homophobia and monosexism. Monosexism is a kind of stigma experienced by individuals who are attracted to multiple genders, such as bisexuals, pansexuals and some other queer-identifying individuals. The stigma derives from the idea that monosexual identities like gay or heterosexual are normal or superior to sexual identities that are gender inclusive, according to Xavier Hall. The study also found that bisexual women with cisgender lesbian partners had fewer depressive symptoms compared to single bi women. A Gallup poll released last week estimates that over half of all LGBTQ adults identify as bisexual , and of that, the majority are women.