New studies show that there is a demonstrable correlation between a person's housing status and his or her likelihood of transmitting or getting HIV. The groundbreaking research from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and others has been reported in a special issue of the journal AIDS and Behavior¹.
According to researchers from the CDC, homelessness and unstable housing “increase the risk of HIV acquisition and transmission and adversely affect the health of people living with HIV.” The findings prompted the researchers to issue a call to action that “homelessness be treated as a major public health issue confronting the United States.”
This issue of AIDS and Behavior includes 18 peer-reviewed articles on the relationship of housing status and HIV risk and health outcomes, including a policy perspective from former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros.
Research studies reported in the issue show that:
These and other recent findings add to the growing evidence that housing itself independently reduces risk of HIV infection and improves the health of persons living with HIV. This evidence challenges the prevailing “risky person” model for understanding the co-occurrence of homelessness, HIV/AIDS and poor health outcomes.
“The findings reported here suggest that the condition of homelessness, and not simply traits of homeless individuals, influences risk behaviors and health care utilization,” says Housing and HIV/AIDS Special Editor Dr. Angela Aidala of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “This points to housing as a strategic target for intervention – a potentially exciting new tool to end the AIDS epidemic in America.”
The National AIDS Housing Coalition is a national non-profit housing organization that works to advance the creation, development, management and growth of housing for persons living with HIV/AIDS in our communities.
1. Housing and HIV/AIDS, Aids and Behavior, (Vol. 11, Suppl. 2, November 2007)
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