Comparison of HIV Risks among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Heterosexual Homeless Youth.
ABSTRACT Youth who are homeless and gay, lesbian or bisexual (GLB) are one of the most disenfranchised and marginalized groups in our society. The purpose of this study is to examine and compare HIV in GLB homeless youth with their heterosexual counterparts. Participants for this study included 268 youth involved in treatment outcome studies with substance abusing homeless youth. Results suggest that GLB youth have greater HIV risks and that these risks are greater among bisexual females. In examining the predictors of sexual health risks, survival sex emerged as the most significant. Survival sex was high among females regardless of their sexual orientation and also among gay males. Implications of these findings suggest that a greater emphasis needs to be paid to preventive interventions among this population.
Article: Structural factors associated with an increased risk of HIV and sexually transmitted infection transmission among street-involved youth.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The prevalence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among street-involved youth greatly exceed that of the general adolescent population; however, little is known regarding the structural factors that influence disease transmission risk among this population. Between September 2005 and October 2006, 529 street-involved youth were enroled in a prospective cohort known as the At Risk Youth Study (ARYS). We examined structural factors associated with number of sex partners using quasi-Poisson regression and consistent condom use using logistic regression. At baseline, 415 (78.4%) were sexually active, of whom 253 (61.0%) reported multiple sex partners and 288 (69.4%) reported inconsistent condom use in the past six months. In multivariate analysis, self-reported barriers to health services were inversely associated with consistent condom use (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.52, 95%CI: 0.25 - 1.07). Structural factors that were associated with greater numbers of sex partners included homelessness (adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR] = 1.54, 95%CI: 1.11 - 2.14) and having an area restriction that affects access to services (aIRR = 2.32, 95%CI: 1.28 - 4.18). Being searched or detained by the police was significant for males (aIRR = 1.36, 95%CI: 1.02 - 1.81). Although limited by its cross-sectional design, our study found several structural factors amenable to policy-level interventions independently associated with sexual risk behaviours. These findings imply that the criminalization and displacement of street-involved youth may increase the likelihood that youth will engage in sexual risk behaviours and exacerbate the negative impact of resultant health outcomes. Moreover, our findings indicate that environmental-structural interventions may help to reduce the burden of these diseases among street youth in urban settings.BMC Public Health 02/2009; 9:7. · 2.00 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Adolescents continue to be at high risk for HIV infection, with young men who have sex with men and youth with drug abuse and/or mental health problems at particularly high risk. Multiple factors may interact to confer risk for these youth. Engaging vulnerable youth in HIV prevention research can present unique challenges in the areas of enrollment, retention, and trial adherence. Examples of successful engagement with vulnerable youth offer encouraging evidence for the feasibility of including these youth in clinical trials. Ethical challenges must be taken into consideration before embarking on biomedical HIV prevention studies with vulnerable youth, especially in the global context. Given the many individual and contextual factors that contribute to their high-risk status, it is essential that vulnerable youth populations be included in HIV prevention clinical research studies.JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 07/2010; 54 Suppl 1:S43-9. · 4.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Health behavior interventions based on Theory of Planned Behavior address participants' personally-held beliefs, perceived social norms, and control over the behavior. New data are always needed to "member check" participants' decision processes and inform interventions. This qualitative study investigates decision processes around condom use among 81 homeless LGBT youth ages 18-26. Findings indicated considerable endorsement of the conventional policy of always using condoms, promulgated in HIV prevention education targeting this population. Although some participants reported risk behavior in contexts of sex work, survival sex, casual encounters, open relationships, and substance use, most were aware of these risks and consistently safe in those situations. Condoms use boundaries became vulnerable in states of emotional need and negative mood. The only effect participants acknowledged of homelessness on condom use was indirect, through negative mood states. The most prevalent context of condom non-use was with long-term primary partners, a potential area of vulnerability because, of 13 participants for HIV or HCV, nine mentioned how they had been infected, and all nine believed they had acquired it from a primary partner. Findings imply programs should emphasize HIV risk potential within long-term romantic partnerships and mental health services to remediate negative mood states.AIDS research and treatment 01/2012; 2012:659853.