||1R03CA079388-01 Interpret this number
||University Of Minnesota Twin Cities
||High Risk Behaviors in Homeless Adolescents
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
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.
, Halcón L.L.
Journal of urban health : bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 2001 Dec; 78(4), p. 690-8.