Purpose. To investigate sexually transmitted infection (STI) risk-taking behaviors relative to other lifestyle and risk-taking behaviors. Design. The study design is cross sectional. Setting. Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Subjects. Participants (N = 32,144) were 100% of Air Force recruits beginning basic military training from August 1995 to August 1996. Measures. Recruits completed a questionnaire that included rating the statement "Sex without condoms is sometimes worth the risk of possibly getting AIDS or sexually transmitted diseases." Risky behaviors, such as risk taking, rebelliousness, seat belt use, smoking, alcohol use and binge drinking, opinions of illicit drug use, and lifestyle behaviors, such as dietary intake and physical activity, were also assessed. Analysis. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses examined the relationships between participant characteristics and willingness to risk STI Results. Sixteen percent stated willingness to risk STI to have sex without a condom. Women and white/non-Hispanic participants were less likely to agree with the statement than men and minority participants. Those who reported willingness toward risky sexual behaviors were less likely to use seat belts, were more likely to binge drink, had more positive views of illicit drugs, and reported eating fewer fruits and vegetables. Conclusion. Results of this study suggest the importance of continued education on condom use and the possibility that multiple risk behavior interventions include sexual risk components.
- Military personnel
- Prevention research
- Risk taking
- Sexually transmitted diseases