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Open AccessArticle

“It’s Just a Band-Aid on Something No One Really Wants to See or Acknowledge”: A Photovoice Study with Transitional Aged Youth Experiencing Homelessness to Examine the Roots of San Diego’s 2016–2018 Hepatitis A Outbreak

1
School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92123, USA
2
Institute for Behavioral and Community Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92123, USA
3
Independent Researcher, San Diego, CA 92123, USA
4
Child and Adolescent Services Research Center, School of Medicine, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA 92123, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4721; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134721
Received: 29 April 2020 / Revised: 20 June 2020 / Accepted: 25 June 2020 / Published: 30 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homelessness and Public Health)
San Diego, California is consistently ranked among regions with the highest rates of homelessness in the United States. From 2016 to 2018, San Diego experienced an unprecedented outbreak of hepatitis A virus (HAV), largely attributed in media and public health discourse to the region’s growing population of people experiencing homelessness. Little attention, however, was devoted to examining the experiences and needs of this population, particularly transitional aged youth (TAY, aged 18–24) experiencing homelessness who may have been uniquely affected by the outbreak. This community-based participatory research study leveraged diverse qualitative methods, principally photovoice, to explore how the social and built environment shapes health among TAY experiencing homelessness in San Diego, how these environments may have contributed to the HAV outbreak, and TAY’s perceptions of HAV-related public health interventions. Emergent findings include stigmatization of TAY and other people experiencing homelessness, interventions that failed to address root causes of the outbreak, and interactions with housing-related and other social support resources that limit rather than support economic and social mobility. Findings have implications for understanding how media and public discourse, public health interventions, and availability and delivery of resources can contribute to and perpetuate stigma and health inequities faced by TAY experiencing homelessness. View Full-Text
Keywords: photovoice; community-based participatory research; hepatitis A virus; homelessness; youth; stigma; qualitative methods photovoice; community-based participatory research; hepatitis A virus; homelessness; youth; stigma; qualitative methods
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Felner, J.K.; Kieu, T.; Stieber, A.; Call, H.; Kirkland, D.; Farr, A.; Calzo, J.P. “It’s Just a Band-Aid on Something No One Really Wants to See or Acknowledge”: A Photovoice Study with Transitional Aged Youth Experiencing Homelessness to Examine the Roots of San Diego’s 2016–2018 Hepatitis A Outbreak. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4721.

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