High prevalence of HIV infection among homeless and street-involved Aboriginal youth in a Canadian setting

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Abstract

Aboriginal people experience a disproportionate burden of HIV infection among the adult population in Canada; however, less is known regarding the prevalence and characteristics of HIV positivity among drug-using and street-involved Aboriginal youth. We examined HIV seroprevalence and risk factors among a cohort of 529 street-involved youth in Vancouver, Canada. At baseline, 15 (2.8%) were HIV positive, of whom 7 (46.7%) were Aboriginal. Aboriginal ethnicity was a significant correlate of HIV infection (odds ratio = 2.87, 95%CI: 1.02-8.09). Of the HIV positive participants, 2 (28.6%) Aboriginals and 6 (75.0%) non-Aboriginals reported injection drug use; furthermore, hepatitis C co-infection was significantly less common among Aboriginal participants (p = 0.041). These findings suggest that factors other than injection drug use may promote HIV transmission among street-involved Aboriginal youth, and provide further evidence that culturally appropriate and evidence-based interventions for HIV prevention among Aboriginal young people are urgently required. © 2008 Marshall et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Marshall, B. D. L., Kerr, T., Livingstone, C., Li, K., Montaner, J. S. G., & Wood, E. (2008). High prevalence of HIV infection among homeless and street-involved Aboriginal youth in a Canadian setting. Harm Reduction Journal, 5. https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7517-5-35

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