Bi+ Youth: Sexual and Reproductive Health

Today Bisexual Health Awareness Month (BHAM) focuses on the sexual and reproductive health needs and disparities of bisexual+ youth. Bisexual+ (e.g. bisexual, pansexual, queer, fluid, no label) youth are in critical need of programs, services, and resources that can improve their overall sexual health and well-being.

Several research studies have found that:

  • Among female adolescents, bisexual identity and behavior was associated with unprotected intercourse at last sexual encounter, early sexual debut, 4 or more lifetime partners, and sexually transmitted infection testing history
  • Bisexual youth are less likely than gay and lesbian youth to have disclosed to their physician about their sexuality
  • Transgender youth, many of whom identify as bisexual, have several unmet sexual and reproductive health needs, including having healthcare providers who are clinically and culturally competent
  • Young men of color (ages 15-22) who have sex with men are at disproportionate risk of acquiring HIV, with research showing that HIV prevalence is at 16% for blacks and 7% for Latinos, compared to only 3% for whites
  • Gay and lesbian homeless youth reported being tested and treated for HIV more than bisexual youth
  • Gay, lesbian, and bisexual homeless youth have greater HIV risks, and these risks are greater among bisexual females

Bisexual+ youth need more inclusive, comprehensive sexuality and safer sex education that addresses all of their intersections. They also need to be connected with social support systems, safe spaces, resources, and services that can help improve their health. Building bisexual+ and transgender* competency among health care providers and physicians can also lead to improved care for these youth. Overall, more work is needed to connect bisexual+ youth with culturally and clinically competent sexual and reproductive healthcare at school and within their communities.

Today’s Featured Resources: Did you know that March 10th is National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day? The #BestDefense is a good offense for bisexual+ youth! Learn more here. Also, here are 10 health topics for bisexual+ youth to discuss with their healthcare providers, including HIV/AIDS, safer sex, & STIs.

Adison, age 21: You are the holder of your own desire, your own pleasure and your own peace. Allow them to flow freely, in whichever directions they pull, so long as you do it with love, with respect, with intention – so long as you are willing to live, to learn, and to grow into the person you are meant to become and the relationships you are meant to share. Also, be mindful of false justifications. You do not have to justify your existence or your identity by buying into traditional notions of monogamy, family, or normative ways of doing/having sex. You are free to exist and to explore as you truly are – experienced or new, vanilla or kink, poly or not, silly or sweet – as long as it’s safe and consensual.