The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is concerned after a report suggests that women aren't practicing safe sex habits: "More than 100,000 New York City women engage in anal intercourse each year, according to a new report from the Health Department, and many are not taking the steps needed to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections." While 61% of men who have sex with other men use condoms during anal sex, only 23% of women are.

The Health Department notes, "Anal membranes are easily damaged during sex, facilitating the spread of infection. Past studies suggest that anal exposure to HIV poses 30 times more risk than vaginal exposure." Further, women ages 18 to 24 "are nearly six times more likely" than women between 45 and 64 to have unprotected anal sex (11% vs. 2%).

Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said, "Tens of thousands of New Yorkers are engaging in sexual behavior that is especially risky. Many people are aware of the risk of HIV when men have sex with other men, but this report shows that a large number of women also are putting themselves at high risk through unprotected anal sex. For both men and women, the overall message is clear: Never engage in unprotected anal sex. Use a condom every time.” Read the report here (PDF).