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J Adolesc Health. 2006 Sep;39(3):443.e9-443.e16. Epub 2006 Jul 10.

Newly homeless youth STD testing patterns over time.

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Department of Family Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90024-4142, USA.



To use the Behavioral Model for Vulnerable Populations to examine the predisposing and need characteristics of newly homeless youth that are associated with sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing over time.


A longitudinal cohort of newly homeless youth from Los Angeles County (n = 261; ages 12-20 years) were followed for 24 months. Youth were interviewed at baseline, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months, and asked about their background, housing situation, emotional distress (using the Brief-Symptom Inventory), substance use, sexual risk behaviors, and their STD testing rates. We modeled our longitudinal data using logistic random effects models.


Characteristics of homeless youth that were associated with STD testing in our multivariate model included time in study (odds ratio [OR] 1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-1.6), age at baseline (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1-1.4), being African-American (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.4-5.3), being from a mixed race/ethnic group (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.3-5.8), self-identifying as a gay/bisexual male (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.2-6.9), self-identifying as a heterosexual female (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3-3.7), using amphetamines (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.6), and history of having gotten someone/becoming pregnant (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.4-3.9). Youth who lived in an apartment were less likely to have received an STD test than youth who lived in other types of housing (OR .4, 95% CI .2-.9). Sexual risk behaviors such as inconsistent condom use (OR 1.0, 95% CI .6-1.4) and number of sexual partners over past 3 months (OR 1.1, 95% CI 1.0-1.1) were not predictive of STD testing over time.


A need exists for interventions to target young newly homeless youth who engage in high-risk sexual behaviors to increase their STD testing rates and thereby decrease their risk for HIV infection.

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