It is time we talk about the sexual heath of Marines. Why is this important? Let’s take a look at the 2018 data from the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center to find out more:
- 25 active duty male Marines were diagnosed with HIV.
- Syphilis rates among active duty Marines rose with 38 cases among male Marines and two among female Marines.
- Of active duty female Marines aged 17-24 who were not trying to become pregnant and were currently sexually active with men, about one of 12 (8.5 percent; n=1142) were using no form of birth control.
- More than one in seven female Marines and about one in four male Marines self-reported condom use less than "always" during sex outside a monogamous relationship.
- Gonorrhea rates among Marines exceeded that of the US population with 497 cases (422 male and 75 female). Gonorrhea rates among female Marines have quadrupled since 2014 and rates for male Marines have tripled since 2011.
Each of these sexual and reproductive health issues decreases Marines’ readiness and can keep Marines out of the fight. So what can we do to improve the sexual and reproductive health of Marines?
Reproductive health screenings, such as well woman exams and testicular cancer self-checks, can help identify any reproductive health issues, while education and access to contraception can improve your sexual health. For resources designed specifically for Marines, visit the NMCPHC website, speak to your local Semper Fit Human Performance Program about the education and resources available on your installation, or contact your primary care physician for more information.