Soldier HIV Behavior Modification


Name: Catherine Schempp

Rank: LTC, USA

Organization: Henry M. Jackson Foundation

Performance Site: Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA; Fort Lewis, WA

Year Published: 1995

Abstract Status: Final


Although great advances have reduced the mortality ssociated with AIDS, a cure for HIV remains elusive. Despite well-understood transmission routes, HIV/AIDS is a spreading epidemic throughout the developing world. At the end of 2001, more than 40 million persons worldwide and an estimated 362,827 persons in the United States were living with HIV/AIDS. HIV seroprevalence in African militaries is reported to range between 20% and 90%. U.S. troops serving on peacekeeping and humanitarian missions in developing nations are at high risk of exposure to HIV. HIV infections rank highest among life-threatening, deployment-associated infections, outnumbering cases of malaria and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. A key to protecting military forces from HIV infection is through effective public health prevention and education programs focused on changing risk behaviors.Purpose. The purpose of this study was to determine in an educational intervention if the type of educator (peer leader or nurse) and the size of the class affect the outcome measures of HIV/AIDS knowledge, beliefs, and risk factors.Design. This study used a quasi-experimental pretest/posttest design of four experimental groups receiving the intervention and a control group. The experimental groups were stratified by instructor type (peer leader or HIV nurse) and unit size (large and small). The control groups consisted of units that did not receive the HIV education classes during the intervention period.Sample. A convenience sample of U.S. Army active duty units stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, was randomly assigned to experimental and control groups.Instrumentation. Three instruments developed by Johnson (1993) were used: the AIDS Health Belief Scale, the AIDS Knowledge component, and the AIDS Risk Behavior Scale. Validity and reliability scores reported when instruments were used to assess homosexual men and college students are acceptable.Methods. The questionnaires were administered prior to intervention (HIV training class), immediately following the intervention, and 3 months after the intervention.Analysis. The units of analysis were the participating active duty units. Data from three questionnaires were collected from 78 groups'67 experimental and 11 control units.Findings. Study findings suggest that for HIV education, nurse-led education resulted in a higher knowledge base than peer-led education (p = 15). The experimental groups showed a significant reduction in the number of opposite sex partners following the intervention (p = .002).Nursing Implications. This study was designed to examine the success of an educational intervention for changing risk behaviors among U.S. soldiers. Despite years of training on the subject of HIV/AIDS, an evaluation of such an intervention had not previously been done.


Final Report is available on NTRL: