In this Section
155118 Prevalence and knowledge of STD, HIV/AIDS, and condom utilization among the homeless populations in the Paso del Norte Region
Monday, November 5, 2007
Background: An estimated 250,000 to 3 million Americans are homeless at any given time, and a significant amount of homeless people regularly live on the streets because of lack of stable shelter. Throughout the past several years there has been increasing recognition that the threat of STD and HIV/AIDS infection is disproportionately high among this vulnerable population.
Methods: This study examines the reasons for the higher prevalence of STD and HIV/AIDS infection among homeless adults. By conducting a survey among 50 homeless adults in El Paso, TX and 50 homeless adults in Las Cruces, NM, the present study attempts to elucidate their sexual practices, attitudes and beliefs about STD and HIV/AIDS, and condom utilization.
Results: The majority of the participants surveyed were between the ages 30-39 (33%). The preponderance were single (60.6%) currently involved in an intimate relationship (78.8%) and more than half (54%) have had more than 5 lifetime sexual partners. However, 68.6% reported not having medical insurance and 77.8% stated that they had not been tested for STD or HIV/AIDS. Additionally, 60.6% reported not always practicing safe sex and 78% believed that the most common mode of HIV/AIDS transmission was men having sex with other men.
Conclusions: This study provides a unique insight into the sexual practices, beliefs, and attitudes, of a population less studied and particularly susceptible to contract and transmit STD and HIV/AIDS. The information provided could act as the bases of highly effective public health prevention strategies campaigns that are sorely needed in this population.
Keywords: Homeless, HIV/AIDS
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.