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Military Health System

Sexually transmitted infections and sexual behavior of deploying shipboard US military personnel: a cross-sectional analysis.

Publication Status: Published

Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)

Sponsoring Office: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Congressionally Mandated: No

Funding Source: Agency, office or organization under authority of the Sec Def (not affiliated to Army, Navy, or Air Force)

Release Date/Publication: December 01, 2015

Principle Investigator Status: Government

Primary DoD Data Source: Other Survey

Secondary DoD Data Source:

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:
Sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevalence and risk behavior may differ at different phases of deployment. We examined STI prevalence and sexual behavior in the predeployment time period (12 months prior) among recently deployed shipboard US Navy and Marine Corps military personnel.

METHODS:
Data were collected from 1938 male and 515 female service members through an anonymous, self-completed survey assessing sexual behaviours and STI acquisition characteristics in the past 12 months. Cross-sectional sex-stratified descriptive statistics are reported.

RESULTS:
Overall, 67% (n=1262/1896) reported last sex with a military beneficiary (spouse, n=931, non-spouse service member, n=331). Among those with a sexual partner outside their primary partnership, 24% (n=90/373) reported using a condom the last time they had sex and 30% (n=72/243) reported their outside partner was a service member. In total, 90% (n=210/233) reported acquiring their most recent STI in the USA (88%, n=126/143 among those reporting ≥1 deployments and an STI ≥1 year ago) and a significantly higher proportion (p<0.01) of women than men acquired the STI from their regular partner (54% vs 21%) and/or a service member (50% vs 26%).

CONCLUSIONS:
Findings suggest a complex sexual network among service members and military beneficiaries. Findings may extend to other mobile civilian and military populations. Data suggest most STI transmission within the shipboard community may occur in local versus foreign ports but analyses from later time points in deployment are needed. These data may inform more effective STI prevention interventions.

Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

Citation:

Harbertson J, Scott PT, Moore J, Wolf M, Morris J, Thrasher S et.al., Sexually transmitted infections and sexual behaviour of deploying shipboard US military personnel: a cross-sectional analysis. Sex Transm Infect. 2015 Dec;91(8):581-8.

Last Updated: February 21, 2019
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