474. Characterizing Self-reported Sexual Risk Behaviors and STIs among High Risk Military Population who Utilize Social Networking Sites to Seek Sexual Partners
Session: Poster Abstract Session: HIV and STI Prevention
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Room: Poster Hall

Social networking and internet dating sites have been shown to increase risk of STI acquisition. We sought to examine risk behaviors and population characteristics associated with last sexual partner identification through Social Networking Sites (SNS) among at-risk U.S. DoD beneficiaries.

Methods: Active duty U.S. military individuals enrolled in a GC resistance study were our study sample. They were seeking care for a suspected STI at 5 military clinics and completed a self-administered questionnaire between 8/2013-5/2016. Questions included sexual risk behaviors, last sexual encounter practices, and history of STIs and type. Potential confounding variables were assessed and controlled by multivariate analysis.


238 participants were included (77% male, 36% White 46% Black, 18% Hispanic/Other, median age 23, 17% married). 90.2% were on active-duty (AD), 52% Army, 40% Navy, 5.6% Air Force, 3% Marines, median years on AD was 3 years. 34.0% reported using SNS to meet their last sexual partner. Factors associated with SNS use included being male, younger, a Navy service member, self-reported ever have sex with men and women or reported having sex with men only. In addition, insertive and receptive anal intercourse at last sexual encounter was also associated with SNS use. SNS use was not associated with education level or marriage status. More SNS users had a self-reported STI compared to non-users in the sample (34.6% vs. 25.5%), with significant associations with reported gonorrhea (18.5% vs. 8.28% P<0.05) and Syphilis (12.4% vs. 0.0% P<.0001). 11 (13.6%) SNS users were positively confirmed to have GC, which is higher than the GC prevalence among non SNS users (8.3%).

Conclusion: Among this population of high risk military individuals, our analysis indicates that SNS users self-report more prevalent STIs and is also associated with GC acquisition, despite small numbers. Continued studies should aim to further quantify and describe SNS populations and the role it plays in STI risk.

Morgan Byrne, MPH, Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program, Uniformed Services Unifersity of Health Sciences, Rockville, MD, Nicole Kluz, MPH, Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program, Uniformed Services University, Rockville, MD, Jose Sanchez, MD, MPH, Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc., Bethesda, MD, Cristobal Berry-Caban, PhD, Department of Clinical Investigation, Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, NC, Rodd Marcum, MD, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA, Tahaniyat Lalani, MD, Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc., Bethesda, MD, Robert Deiss, MD, Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, CA, Timothy Roberts, MD, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX and Grace E Macalino, PhD, Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Rockville, MD


M. Byrne, None

N. Kluz, None

J. Sanchez, None

C. Berry-Caban, None

R. Marcum, None

T. Lalani, None

R. Deiss, None

T. Roberts, None

G. E. Macalino, None

Findings in the abstracts are embargoed until 12:01 a.m. CDT, Wednesday Oct. 26th with the exception of research findings presented at the IDWeek press conferences.