Street Youth, HIV/AIDS Prevention and the Stages of Change

By Anthony Linton, Mina D. Singh, David Turbow and Timothy Legg.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Street youth, an international issue, are at high risk for many diseases like STI’s, and alcohol and drug abuse. The purpose of this cross-sectional survey of 18 to 30 year old street youth (N = 140) was to determine which high-risk sexual and injectable drug use behaviors were most predictive of HIV status, as well as intent among street youth to modify these behaviors. This study utilized the stages of change component of the transtheoretical model of behavior change to investigate and identify participants’ current stage of change for HIV prevention interventions.
Results revealed that the majority of participants (60%) were in the precontemplation stage, indicating low self-efficacy to change high-risk behaviors. Self-reported engagement in unprotected anal or vaginal sex with an HIV positive partner was a significant predictor of HIV positive status (p = .001). Other significant predictors of HIV positive status were injection of steroids (p = .033) and “other” drugs (p = .029). Findings suggest that interventions for street youth should be focused on prompting readiness to change, and on reducing high-risk sexual and injection drug use behaviors.

Keywords: Street Youth, HIV/AIDS Prevention, Stages of Change

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.117-136. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 351.403KB).

Dr. Anthony Linton

University Nursing Instructor and Primary Health Care Nurse Clinician, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Primary Health Care, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Anthony Linton is an instructor in the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. He has a PhD in health sciences, international health. His administrative and current clinical background as primary health care nurse clinician is the lens through which he encountered the majority of his homeless, street-involved, and HIV/AIDS segment of his clients’ population. He has published in the peer-reviewed Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services. Dr. Linton’s interests are in teaching, practice, and engaging in scholarly research activities and publication. His current community involvement includes membership on the University of Toronto HIV Research Ethics Board of Directors. He is a member of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

Dr. Mina D. Singh

Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Mina Singh is an associate professor in the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. David Turbow

Professor, College of Health Sciences, Trident University, Cypress, California, USA

Dr. Turbow is an Associate Professor and Faculty Lead in Environmental Health at Trident University International (TUI) in Cypress, California. Dr. Turbow holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California Santa Barbara, a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from California State University Fullerton, and a Ph.D. degree in Environmental Health Science & Policy from the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Turbow has over seventeen years of teaching experience at various institutions of higher learning, including eight years of teaching and dissertation mentoring experience in the online learning environment at TUI. His research interests are centered upon exploring human health aspects of water contamination through simulation and survey based approaches. Outside of academia, Dr. Turbow worked in the private sector as an environmental and public health consultant, characterizing risk of waterborne pathogen ingestion. He has also worked as a scientist with both the regulatory community and with non-governmental agencies to facilitate water pollution prevention planning efforts. Dr. Turbow’s research has been published in several top-tiered environmental health and public health journals including: Environmental Health Perspectives, Environmental Research, Journal of Water and Health, and Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health.

Dr. Timothy Legg

Professor and Academic Chair, BSN Program, Nursing Department, Kaplan University, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Dr. Timothy Legg is a professor and academic chair of the BSN program at Kaplan University, Chicago, Illinois, USA.