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Brief Report: Sexual Risk Behaviors of HIV Seroconverters in the US Army, 2012–2014

Hakre, Shilpa DrPH, MPH*; Scoville, Stephanie L. DrPH; Pacha, Laura A. MD, MPH; Peel, Sheila A. MSPH, PhD; Kim, Jerome H. MD, PhD; Michael, Nelson L. MD, PhD; Cersovsky, Steven B. MD, MPH; Scott, Paul T. MD, MPH

JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: December 1st, 2015 - Volume 70 - Issue 4 - p 456–461
doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000778
Epidemiology and Prevention

Abstract: The United States (US) Army implemented a comprehensive HIV characterization program in 2012 following repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy banning openly homosexual individuals from serving in the US military. Program staff administered a standardized case report form to soldiers newly diagnosed with HIV from 2012 to 2014 in compliance with new program requirements. The case report form documented sociodemographic, sexual, and other risk behavior information elicited from US Army regulation-mandated epidemiologic interviews at initial HIV notification. A majority of HIV-infected soldiers were male and of black/African American racial origin. In the HIV risk period, male soldiers commonly reported male–male sexual contact, civilian partners, online partner-seeking, unprotected anal sex, and expressed surprise at having a positive HIV result. Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal allows for risk screening and reduction interventions targeting a newly identifiable risk category in the US Army. At-risk populations need to be identified and assessed for possible unmet health needs.

*US Military HIV Research Program, Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Bethesda, MD;

US Army Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD; and

US Military HIV Research Program, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Bethesda, MD.

Correspondence to: Shilpa Hakre, DrPH, MPH, Department of Epidemiology and Threat Assessment, US Military HIV Research Program, 6720-A Rockledge Drive, Suite 400, Bethesda, MD 20817 (e-mail: shakre@hivresearch.org).

Supported by a cooperative agreement (W81XWH-07-2-0067) between the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc, and the US Department of Defense.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be construed to represent the position of the US Department of Defense.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND), which permits downloading and sharing the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.

Received March 04, 2015

Accepted June 17, 2015

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