The number of women who are active duty service members or veterans of the U.S. military is increasing. Studies among young, unmarried, active duty servicewomen who are sexually active indicate a high prevalence of risky sexual behaviors, including inconsistent condom use, multiple sexual partners, and binge drinking, that lead to unintended and unsafe sex. These high-risk sexual practices likely contribute to chlamydia infection rates that are higher than the rates in the U.S. general population. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and cervical dysplasia may also be higher among young, active duty servicewomen. Little is known about the sexual practices and rates of sexually transmitted infections among older servicewomen and women veterans; however, women veterans with a history of sexual assault may be at high risk for HPV infection and cervical dysplasia. To address the reproductive health needs of military women, investigations into the prevalence of unsafe sexual behaviors and consequent infection among older servicewomen and women veterans are needed. Direct comparison of military and civilian women is needed to determine if servicewomen are a truly high-risk group. Additionally, subgroups of military women at greatest risk for these adverse reproductive health outcomes need to be identified.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kristin_mattocks/9/