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Grant Details

Grant Number: 1R03CA079388-01 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Lifson, Alan
Organization: University Of Minnesota Twin Cities
Project Title: High Risk Behaviors in Homeless Adolescents
Fiscal Year: 1998


DESCRIPTION: (Applicant's Description) Adolescents and young adults may engage in unprotected sexual contact, drug use (including injection drug use), and other behaviors associated with blood-contaminated needles that lead to viral infections including hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). These infections can result in cancers such as hepatocellular carcinoma. Homeless and street youth are at particularly risk for acquiring these and other infections that can promote malignancies. These viral infections and thus the cancers associated with them are preventable through a variety of strategies. However, developing effective intervention programs for a target population requires a good baseline understanding of the prevalence and patterns of high risk behaviors. This one-year pilot study will evaluate 200 homeless and street youth 15-21 years of age in Minneapolis, Minnesota. These youth will be recruited from neighborhoods and settings where a high proportion of street youth are known to congregate, and will be interviewed by an experienced outreach worker. Information we will collect from these youth includes: (1) the prevalence of high-risk and unsafe sexual behaviors, such as "survival sex"; (2) the prevalence of high-risk drug-related practices, such as injection drug use; and (3) the prevalence of high-risk exposures to unsterile needles, such as for body piercing and tattooing. The study will also demonstrate that homeless adolescents and street youth, who are a difficult to access high-risk population, will participate in epidemiologic studies using community-based outreach. Based on this initial pilot evaluation we will plan and implement a series of targeted intervention programs to help prevent acquisition of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and other viruses which can lead to cancer in these at-risk youth.


Substance abuse and high-risk needle-related behaviors among homeless youth in Minneapolis: implications for prevention.
Authors: Lifson A.R. , Halcón L.L. .
Source: Journal of urban health : bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 2001 Dec; 78(4), p. 690-8.
PMID: 11796815
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