Current age, age at first sex, age at first homelessness, and HIV risk perceptions predict sexual risk behaviors among sexually active homeless adults

Diane Santa Maria, Daphne C. Hernandez, Katherine R. Arlinghaus, Kathryn R. Gallardo, Sarah B. Maness, Darla E. Kendzor, Lorraine R. Reitzel, Michael S. Businelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

While HIV disproportionately impacts homeless individuals, little is known about the prevalence of HIV risk behaviors in the southwest and how age factors and HIV risk perceptions influence sexual risk behaviors. We conducted a secondary data analysis (n = 460) on sexually active homeless adults from a cross-sectional study of participants (n = 610) recruited from homeless service locations, such as shelters and drop-in centers, in an understudied region of the southwest. Covariate-adjusted logistic regressions were used to assess the impact of age at homelessness onset, current age, age at first sex, and HIV risk perceptions on having condomless sex, new sexual partner(s), and multiple sexual partners (≥4 sexual partners) in the past 12 months. Individuals who first experienced homelessness by age 24 were significantly more likely to report condomless sex and multiple sexual partners in the past year than those who had a later onset of their first episode of homelessness. Individuals who were currently 24 years or younger were more likely to have had condomless sex, new sexual partners, and multiple sexual partners in the past 12 months than those who were 25 years or older. Those who had low perceived HIV risk had lower odds of all three sexual risk behaviors. Social service and healthcare providers should consider a younger age at homelessness onset when targeting HIV prevention services to youth experiencing homelessness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number218
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: Funding for this research was primarily provided by the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center and Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (092-016-0002l) (to MSB).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • Age
  • HIV
  • Homeless adults
  • Onset of homelessness
  • Sexual behaviors

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