Are there especially vulnerable groups within the military?
Young, unattached men are a highly susceptible group both inside
and outside the military. Typically, the young recruit on a weekend pass has
both the time and motivation, particularly under the influence of peer pressure,
to indulge in high-risk behaviour. However, there are other groups within the
military whose vulnerability should be addressed.
The increasing participation of women in the military in various
parts of the world underlines the special vulnerability of women to STD and HIV
transmission. Women are more likely to acquire any kind of STD from a single
sexual exposure than men, and to have more asymp-tomatic STDs that are difficult
to diagnose. (For more information, see UNAIDS Point of View Reducing
womens vulnerability to HIV infection.) Female military personnel
are often at a disadvantage in sexual negotiations, including those for condom
use. They are also subject to sex under duress and sometimes to outright rape.
The fact that in the military there are men who have sex with
men is a sensitive issue in many countries. Some sexual contacts occur between
men who identify themselves as homosexual or bisexual. In some cases there is
coerced sex (rape) among men. Finally, men who identify themselves as
heterosexual may experiment with male-to-male sexual activity (for example,
during periods of isolation from female companionship). Little research has been
done on this, but recent studies suggest that such activity may be more
widespread than generally assumed. (See UNAIDS Technical Update and
Point of View on AIDS and men who have sex with men.)
UNAIDS Best Practice Collection
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is
preparing materials on subjects of relevance to HIV infection and AIDS, the
causes and consequences of the epidemic, and best practices in AIDS prevention,
care and support. A Best Practice Collection on any one subject typically
includes a short publication for journalists and community leaders (Point of
View); a technical summary of the issues, challenges and solutions (Technical
Update); case studies from around the world (Best Practice Case Studies);
a set of presentation graphics; and a listing of key materials (reports,
articles, books, audiovisuals, etc.) on the subject. These documents are updated
Technical Updates and Points of View are being published in
English, French, Russian and Spanish. Single copies of Best Practice
publications are available free from UNAIDS Information Centres. To find the
closest one, visit UNAIDS on the Internet (http:// www.unaids.org), contact
UNAIDS by email (email@example.com) or telephone (+41 22 791 4651), or write to
the UNAIDS Information Centre, 20 Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.
Journalists seeking more information about a UNAIDS Point of
View are invited to contact the UNAIDS Geneva Press Information Office (tel: +41
22 791 4577 or 791 3387; fax: +41 22 791 4898; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The female condom and AIDS: UNAIDS Point of View
(UNAIDS Best Practice Collection: Point of View).
Geneva: UNAIDS, April 1998.
1. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome - transmission
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome - prevention and control
© Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS 1998. All
rights reserved. This publication may be freely reviewed, quoted, reproduced or
translated, in part or in full, provided the source is acknowledged. It may not
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