Sexual behavior, HIV testing patterns, and STIs among LGBT military personnel
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
: 9:06 a.m. - 9:18 a.m.
Background: DADT-related fears have prevented many LGBT military personnel from seeking care for STIs, and persisting fears after the DADT repeal continue to hinder disclosure of sexual practices to medical professionals, thereby placing LGBT service members at risk for HIV and STIs. Method: An internet-based survey assessed sexual behavior, HIV testing, and STIs among 226 LGBT military personnel (142 gay/bisexual men, GBM; 71 lesbian/bisexual women, LBW; 13 transgender and gender-nonconforming persons, TGNC), ages 18-73 (M=30). Results: Participants reported sexual risk behavior with both male and female sex partners in the past 90 days. Two-thirds of GBM reported casual male sex partners (10% reported 8 or more partners) with nearly half of all anal sex occasions being without a condom. LBW and TGNC persons reported sharing sex toys with female partners (25%) and sex with casual male partners (10%). Almost all participants (98%) had been tested for HIV; 11 (7.7%) of GBM were HIV seropositive. Most tested at least annually (60% tested during the preceding 6 months). Six (8.6%) of the 70 GBM who requested an HIV test at a military facility were denied one. One in five GBM reported at least one STI and 16.9% reported 2 or more STIs in their lifetime. Fewer LBW and TGNC reported a STI diagnosis (<14%). Gonorrhea (14%), Chlamydia (11%), HPV/genital warts (8%), and herpes (7%) were the most commonly reported. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that strategies are needed to better serve the needs of LGBT military personnel in promoting sexual health.
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe sexual practices, HIV testing patterns, and rates of STIs among LGBT military service members
Discuss possible strategies to improve the sexual health of LGBT service members
Keyword(s): Sexual Behavior, HIV/AIDS
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Instructor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University, a Research Project Manager at the HIV Center, and member of the Development Core to enhance the capacity of HIV Center investigators to employ innovative information technology tools for data collection, outreach, intervention, and scientific cooperation for HIV-related research.Â I have served as Co-Investigator on studies examining sexual risk behavior and microbicide acceptability among women and MSM. Â
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.