175355 HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Knowledge among Homeless Adults

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 2:50 PM

In Han Song, PhD , School of Social Work, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY
Carol S. North, MD, MPE , Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
Hyeouk Chris Hahm, PhD, LCSW , Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Social Work, Boston, MA
Background: Knowledge of HIV/AIDS and reproductive health among homeless adults can inform intervention programs aimed at reducing HIV/AIDS, STDs, unplanned pregnancies, and reproductive health problems for this population.

Methods: Cross sectional data from 50 homeless adults systematically and consecutively sampled from street settings was used to assess knowledge of HIV/AIDS and contraction of the virus and knowledge of reproductive health including facts about pregnancy and contraceptive methods.

Results: A significantly high proportion (86%-90%) of knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS, its transmission, and safe or "safer" sex practices to prevent HIV/STD infection were answered correctly. However, only 49% of the knowledge regarding reproductive health were answered correctly. In multivariate analysis, more years of education (p=.02) and substance abuse problems (p=.01) were associated with greater knowledge of HIV/AIDS, and longer duration of homelessness (p=.02) with lesser knowledge. More years of education (p=.05) and shorter duration of homelessness (p=.04) were associated with greater knowledge of reproductive health. Knowledge was not associated with psychiatric illness or treatment history.

Conclusions: Although most participants demonstrated high levels of knowledge of HIV/AIDS, they indicated low levels of knowledge of reproductive health. High levels of HIV/AIDS knowledge may be related to recent efforts toward public education, especially through broadcast media. Further education on reproductive health is needed to ensure the prevention of negative outcomes such as unintended pregnancies and other reproductive health problems for this population.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the levels of HIV/AIDS and procreation knowledge among homeless adults systematically selected from street settings 2. Discuss the relationship between the outcome variables (knowledge levels of HIV/AIDS and reproductive health) and the predictors (demographic factors, homelessness experience, psychiatric and substance use history) among homeless adults 3. Discuss the public health implications in addressing the importance of knowledge on HIV/AIDS and reproductive health in the homeless adult population

Keywords: Homeless, Sexuality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: as a PI, I conducted this study and wrote most of this abstract.
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.