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Healthcare experiences of lesbian and bisexual women in Cape Town, South Africa.
Cult Health Sex. 2015; 17(2):180-93.CH

Abstract

Understanding the health needs and experiences of South African lesbian and bisexual women is imperative for implementing effective and inclusive public health strategies. Such understanding, however, is limited due to the exclusion of these women from most existing research on healthcare access in the region. This paper bridges that gap by investigating the healthcare experiences of lesbian and bisexual women in Cape Town. Data were gathered from 22 interviews with self-identified lesbian and bisexual community members and university students in the Cape Town area. Interviews explored obstacles women face in accessing affirming services, different experiences with public and private healthcare, fear of stigma/discrimination, availability of relevant sexual health information and suggestions to improve existing programmes. Findings suggest that South African lesbians and bisexual women may have a range of both positive and negative experiences in public and private health services, that they use protective strategies when 'coming out' and that they find that sexual health information pertinent to them is largely unavailable. These discussions contribute to a more inclusive understanding of the experiences of lesbian and bisexual women accessing healthcare and other services and help to inform providers, thereby enabling them to deliver more meaningful care to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in South Africa.

Authors+Show Affiliations

a Gender and Sexuality Studies , Northwestern University , Evanston , USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25291355

Citation

Smith, Riley. "Healthcare Experiences of Lesbian and Bisexual Women in Cape Town, South Africa." Culture, Health & Sexuality, vol. 17, no. 2, 2015, pp. 180-93.
Smith R. Healthcare experiences of lesbian and bisexual women in Cape Town, South Africa. Cult Health Sex. 2015;17(2):180-93.
Smith, R. (2015). Healthcare experiences of lesbian and bisexual women in Cape Town, South Africa. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 17(2), 180-93. https://doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2014.961033
Smith R. Healthcare Experiences of Lesbian and Bisexual Women in Cape Town, South Africa. Cult Health Sex. 2015;17(2):180-93. PubMed PMID: 25291355.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Healthcare experiences of lesbian and bisexual women in Cape Town, South Africa. A1 - Smith,Riley, Y1 - 2014/10/07/ PY - 2014/10/8/entrez PY - 2014/10/8/pubmed PY - 2016/1/1/medline KW - South Africa KW - bisexual women KW - healthcare access KW - lesbian SP - 180 EP - 93 JF - Culture, health & sexuality JO - Cult Health Sex VL - 17 IS - 2 N2 - Understanding the health needs and experiences of South African lesbian and bisexual women is imperative for implementing effective and inclusive public health strategies. Such understanding, however, is limited due to the exclusion of these women from most existing research on healthcare access in the region. This paper bridges that gap by investigating the healthcare experiences of lesbian and bisexual women in Cape Town. Data were gathered from 22 interviews with self-identified lesbian and bisexual community members and university students in the Cape Town area. Interviews explored obstacles women face in accessing affirming services, different experiences with public and private healthcare, fear of stigma/discrimination, availability of relevant sexual health information and suggestions to improve existing programmes. Findings suggest that South African lesbians and bisexual women may have a range of both positive and negative experiences in public and private health services, that they use protective strategies when 'coming out' and that they find that sexual health information pertinent to them is largely unavailable. These discussions contribute to a more inclusive understanding of the experiences of lesbian and bisexual women accessing healthcare and other services and help to inform providers, thereby enabling them to deliver more meaningful care to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in South Africa. SN - 1464-5351 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25291355/Healthcare_experiences_of_lesbian_and_bisexual_women_in_Cape_Town_South_Africa_ L2 - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13691058.2014.961033 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -