Eroding Gains in Safe Sex Behavior, HIV/AIDS Knowledge, and Risk Perceptions Among Royal Thai Navy Conscripts After 28 Years of the AIDS Epidemic in Thailand.

Published: May 23, 2013


Despite extensive early prevention efforts, recent surveys suggest that sexual risk taking may again be on the rise in Thailand. The present cross-sectional study surveyed 3,299 recruits in the Thai Navy in 2010, to examine their rates and correlates of consistent condom use. Most participants were aged 21-22 years, unmarried, and had a secondary education. Almost half were employed in labor/agriculture. Only 17 % of sexually experienced recruits were consistent condom users, and 53 % reported multiple sex partners in the past 3 months. In multiple logistic regression, residence in the Northeast (AOR 1.47), age (AOR 1.43), being single (AOR 2.13), non-MSM status (AOR 1.41), voluntary testing (AOR 1.24), and condom use at first sex (AOR 4.29) were significantly associated with consistent condom use. These findings suggest gaps in Thailand’s condom campaign targeting both sexually experienced and inexperienced youth. Interventions targeting naval recruits may benefit from including sex education in the training curriculum, building drillmasters’ capacities to facilitate sex education/counseling, and creating a supportive environment with better access to condoms.

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