Sexually Transmitted Infections in U.S. Military Women: A Scoping Review 2000-2018.

Journal: Women's Health Issues : Official Publication Of The Jacobs Institute Of Women's Health

PURPOSE: High rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have been documented among U.S. military servicemembers. The purpose of this scoping review is to evaluate the literature to determine what is known about the risk factors, preventive measures, and health outcomes regarding STIs among active duty servicewomen.

Methods: A search of six bibliographic databases and the grey literature identified articles published from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2018. A two-level review process was used to evaluate the inclusion of articles.

Results: Fifty-six articles were included. The majority of studies (n = 47) were descriptive (95%). The primary STIs of focus were chlamydia (66%) and gonorrhea (38%), with a lesser focus on herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 (17%) and syphilis (11%). There were no studies on chancroid or pubic lice. Chlamydia and gonorrhea were highly prevalent. Age, race, and gender were nonmodifiable risk factors, whereas behaviors, beliefs, socioeconomic level, marital status, and concomitant or repeat infections were modifiable risk factors. Educational programs and studies evaluating efficacious STI prevention methods were lacking. STI diagnoses occurred in servicewomen at their home stations as well as in deployed settings.

Conclusion: STIs remain an ongoing public health challenge with insufficient research to guide military and health care leaders. Future research should focus on prospective designs that leverage identified risk factors and at-risk populations where the most impact can be made to promote reproductive health.

Dawnkimberly Hopkins, andy Wilson, honda Allard

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