• Journal Article

Correlates of sexual risk behavior in sexually active male military personnel stationed along border-crossing zones in the Dominican Republic

Citation

Tavarez, M. I., Chun, H., & Anastario, M. (2011). Correlates of sexual risk behavior in sexually active male military personnel stationed along border-crossing zones in the Dominican Republic. American Journal of Men's Health, 5(1), 65-77. DOI: 10.1177/1557988310362097

Abstract

Context: A survey was conducted of sexually active male military personnel stationed along major border-crossing zones between the Dominican Republic (DR) and Haiti, taking an applied scientific approach, to better inform prevention programming with military personnel in the region. Design and method: A subsample of 470 sexually active male military personnel was drawn from a stratified systematic sample of military personnel stationed along the three largest border-crossing zones on the western border of the Dominican Republic. Using a verbally administered questionnaire, an examination of how foci of current HIV prevention programming with military personnel correlated with key sexual risk behavioral outcomes was conducted. Results: Mental health factors such as probable alcohol abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder showed consistent associations with sexual risk behaviors. Participants showed a relatively high level of HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, a moderate level of negative attitudes toward condoms, and a moderate level of stigma toward people living with HIV/AIDS. Psychosocial factors, which are typically preventive in nature, were not associated with decreased sexual risk behaviors. Conclusion: Gaps were identified in HIV prevention programming that need to be addressed in this population of sexually active male military personnel. Although knowledge, attitudes, and psychosocial factors are important foci of HIV prevention programming, they were not associated with sexual risk behaviors, particularly after controlling for mental health factors. The authors suggest that prevalent psychiatric disorders in military personnel, such as posttraumatic stress disorder, should be factored in to the development of HIV prevention programs for military personnel.