Youth with disabilities share a staggering list of interrelated risk factors that may place them at increased vulnerability to HIV, including: increased poverty, lower educational levels, lower access to HIV prevention information, precarious access to HIV-related healthcare, increased likelihood of being Aboriginal, greater engagement in behaviours conducive to sexual risk taking such as alcohol or drug use prior to sex and lack of condom use, higher rates of adolescent STDs and pregnancies, higher substance use and abuse, and elevated risk for sexual assault. To date, there has been a lack of research on the HIV prevention needs of this vulnerable group despite this confluence of risk factors and the existence of approximately 300,000 Canadian youth between the ages of 15 and 24 living with disabilities. The proposed study aims to address this gap in research by working with youth with disabilities to examine vulnerabilities to HIV and to identify methods for effectively delivering HIV prevention strategies to this population.
For more information about this project, please contact:
Emily Hostland, Projects Coordinator
416 736 2100 ex. 20712