142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Risk and the residential environment: Prior homelessness as a predictor of HIV risk among adults living in single room occupancy housing

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 12:30 PM - 12:45 PM

Elizabeth Bowen , School of Social Work, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY
Christopher Mitchell, PhD , Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Background: Epidemiological research indicates that homeless and unstably housed individuals are at a higher risk for contracting HIV than their stably housed counterparts. However, little is known about how specific housing conditions including street homelessness and single room occupancy (SRO) hotel housing may be differentially associated with HIV risk. This study applies a risk environment theoretical framework to examine the relationship between past homelessness and HIV risk for SRO residents.

Methods: The study employed a cross-sectional survey design. A venue-based recruitment approach was used to select a sample of SRO residents (n=163) from nine privately owned Chicago SRO buildings.  Participants completed an interviewer-administered survey containing questions about their housing experiences, HIV risk behaviors, and demographics.

Results: Though 83% of participants reported lifetime homelessness, only 18% had been homeless in the past 12 months. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, past-year homelessness predicted recent risk behaviors including illicit drug use (OR=3.23), having sex while drunk or high (OR=2.74), and intravenous drug use (OR=4.91) when controlling for demographic factors, HIV status, and prior incarceration.

Conclusions: SRO residents who had been homeless in the past year were more likely to report certain drug and sex-related HIV risk behaviors. This finding suggests that homelessness and SRO housing may be linked with different environmental influences on HIV risk, a distinction rarely acknowledged in the literature on housing and HIV risk. In light of their elevated risk profile, individuals who have recently transitioned from homelessness to SRO housing may benefit from tailored HIV risk reduction interventions.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the relationship between prior homelessness and HIV risk behaviors for single room occupancy building residents. Discuss the implications of the housing environment, including prior and current homelessness, as a key part of the HIV risk context for low-income urban adults in the United States.

Keyword(s): HIV Risk Behavior, Homelessness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I served as principal investigator for the study described in the abstract, which was a survey-based, cross-sectional original research study examining patterns of HIV risk behaviors among adults living in single room occupancy (SRO) housing. I have previously published and presented scholarship on related topics including homelessness and housing-related influences on the HIV risk context for low-income adults.
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.