A new survey by the NYC Department of Health found that women make their male partners use condoms during anal sex far less frequently than gay men. Of the more than 100,000 NYC women who engage in anal sex each year, only 23% use condoms compared to 61% of men who have sex with men.

The report also found that women who engage in unprotected anal sex get tested for HIV much less frequently than women who always use condoms during anal play: 35% versus 63%.

Unprotected anal intercourse is more frequent among younger females and those with many partners. 11% of Women 18 to 24 had unprotected anal sex compared to 2% of women 45 to 64. Of women with three or more sexual partners, 15% had unprotected anal sex in the past year versus 4% of those with one or more partner. Broken down by race, 8% of Asian, 7% of white, 6% of Hispanic, and 4% of black women had unprotected anal sex in the last year.

Anal  sex carries a 30 times greater risk of HIV infection than vaginal intercourse. The anal membrane is much more susceptible to small rips that facilitate infections compared to vaginal or oral sex.

Now that more and more women are having anal sex, they need to be aware of the inherent risks and understand the importance of using protection to limit the risks of spreading STDs.