Interventions to modify sexual risk behaviours for preventing HIV in homeless youth

Naranbhai, Vivek; Abdool Karim, Quarraisha; Meyer-Weitz, Anna

There have been a limited number of rigorously conducted interventions to modify the sexual behaviour of homeless youth 12-24 years of age to prevent them from acquiring HIV. More research is required to identify effective strategies for this population. In this review, we systematically searched published and unpublished accounts of interventions that had been rigorously tested . We found three eligible independently conducted randomised controlled trials testing three different interventions. All three were conducted in the United States, amongst a total of 615 homeless, male and female youth. Due to the varied delivery of interventions, outcome measurement and reporting, we were unable to aggregate outcomes to estimate summary of effect measures. The significant risk of bias associated with the three included studies and their heterogeneity necessitate caution in interpreting the effectiveness of interventions to modify sexual risk behaviour for preventing HIV in homeless youth. While studies among homeless youth are highly challenging, future trials should comply with rigorous methodology in design, delivery, outcome measurement and reporting as well as consider the changing facets of homeless youth when designing HIV prevention tools.


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April 4, 2012