HIV risk among homeless adults transitioning to permanent supportive housing
Methods: We used criterion sampling to identify homeless individuals in Skid Row Los Angeles who had been accepted into PSH and who had near-term move-in dates. Semi-structured and structured interviews were conducted with 23 persons prior to moving into PSH and 3 months later.
Results: The majority of participants were African American. Prior to housing, most participants anticipated improved social relationships including intimate partnerships. Whereas 43% reported being sexually active prior to housing and 50% reported condom use, 52% were sexually active after housing and only 8% reported condom use. Sexual partners and drug users in participants' networks increased after being housed, and numbers of persons from whom they received social support decreased. The past 3 month HIV testing rate was 52% before housing and 57% after housing.
Discussion: The transition from homelessness to permanent supportive housing may be associated with unanticipated risks to health through changes in social networks and increased exposure to HIV. Greater attention should be focused on understanding and addressing HIV prevention as part of integrated health services and permanent supportive housing for homeless adults.
Learning Areas:Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Social and behavioral sciences
Discuss the potential risk for HIV associated with transitioning from homelessness to permanent supportive housing. Describe how social networks are associated with HIV risk. Describe integrated health services for persons in permanent supportive housing and how HIV services may be incorporated.
Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Homeless Health Care