HIV Risk Behavior and Condom Use: Collecting Data for Prevention


Name: Raymond Phillips


Organization: The Geneva Foundation

Performance Site: Naval Air Station Whidbey, Oak Harbor, WA; USS Constellation, USS John C. Stennis, USS Abraham Lincoln, USS Carl Vinson

Year Published: 2000

Abstract Status: Final


Purpose: To survey Navy personnel regarding (1) sexual behaviors that put them at risk for acquiring human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), (2) condom use, and (3) psychosocial and contextual factors that influence condom use and risky sexual behavior. These data could be used to design prevention interventions, particularly culture-specific interventions, based on identified predictors of condom use.Sample: Active-duty, enlisted, male Naval personnel serving on four U.S. aircraft carriers within the Pacific Fleet (n = 3,425).Instrumentation: A survey questionnaire, consisting of 103 items on sample demographics, scales, and various measures of behavior, was developed from existing instruments in the literature and refined through two sets of focus groups and consultation with key informants.Methods: Surveys were distributed to potential respondents in a sealable envelope toward the end of participants' deployment. Participants were anonymous; informed consent was indicated by completion of the survey. Data were analyzed with both parametric and nonparametric equivalent statistics.Findings: Sexual behavior was less frequent and condom use more frequent in foreign ports (p < .0001). Men involved with both steady and casual partners used condoms less consistently than those involved only with casual partners (p < .05). Sexual behavior also varied by type of partner (p < .0001). Parmer norm and condom self-efficacy correlated with consistent condom use in all subgroups. The effect of other variables (e.g., alcohol use, marital status) varied with ethnicity. These findings suggest that condom use in home and foreign ports with casual partners is not "every time." This pattern highlights the potential for personnel becoming infected with HIV or other STDs and infecting their steady partners as they move between foreign and home ports. Nursing Implications: To encourage safe sex practices by naval personnel, nurses must consider the social context in which risky sexual behaviors occur.


Final report is available on NTRL: