271268 Sexual/gender identity, Trauma and HIV/AIDS: Intersecting risk for LGBTQ Homeless Youth

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 9:10 AM - 9:30 AM

Jama Shelton, LMSW , Social Welfare, CUNY Graduate Center & The Ali Forney Center, New York, NY
Angela A. Aidala, PhD , Mailman School of Pubic Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Tali Ziv, MPH , Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
Homeless LGBTQ youth are at high risk for STI infections including HIV. Many of these young people are alienated from their natal environments because of their LGBTQ identity and have endured extreme levels of trauma. These individuals are a hard to reach population and consequently have limited access to appropriate services, scant social support and an increasing prevalence of HIV/AIDS. This study aimed to explore this population further, seeking to discern the specific social factors that motivated these individuals to find social service assistance. We examined their HIV risk behaviors, trauma histories and self-reported needs at time of program intake. We conducted a secondary data analysis of intake data collected at a homeless service organization. Data was collected using the Homeless Management Information System database, then exported into SPSS for descriptive statistical analysis. We found high rates of childhood trauma, including 60% (n=140) of participants reporting physical abuse, 52% reporting childhood sexual abuse and 64% experienced domestic violence. Participants were disconnected from their families 85% stated that family reunification was not an option. Participants reported infrequent condom use and low HIV testing rates. 54% reported never using a latex barrier for oral sex. For anal or vaginal sex, 34% reported inconsistent condom use and 14% reported never using condoms. They sought services primarily for housing and employment assistance, though identified needs included identification, showers, and love. They are a diverse group with numerous unmet needs.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess trauma histories, HIV risk behavior and social connectedness of LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. 2. Identify the self-reported service needs of LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness 3. Compare the service needs and histories of each subgroup within the LGBTQ category.

Keywords: Sexuality, Homelessness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Coordinator of Research, Evaluation & Training at The Ali Forney Center with over 10 years experience working with LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. I earned my MSW from NYU and am a doctoral student in Social Welfare at the CUNY Graduate Center.
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.