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Open AccessArticle

Current Age, Age at First Sex, Age at First Homelessness, and HIV Risk Perceptions Predict Sexual Risk Behaviors among Sexually Active Homeless Adults

1
Department of Nursing Systems, School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
2
Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
3
Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
4
Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
5
Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
6
Health Sciences Center, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020218
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 13 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Health Care for Homeless People in Various Contexts)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: sexual behaviors; homeless adults; HIV; onset of homelessness; age sexual behaviors; homeless adults; HIV; onset of homelessness; age
MDPI and ACS Style

Santa Maria, D.; Hernandez, D.C.; Arlinghaus, K.R.; Gallardo, K.R.; Maness, S.B.; Kendzor, D.E.; Reitzel, L.R.; Businelle, M.S. Current Age, Age at First Sex, Age at First Homelessness, and HIV Risk Perceptions Predict Sexual Risk Behaviors among Sexually Active Homeless Adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 218.

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