Homelessness and drug abuse among young men who have sex with men in New York city: A preliminary epidemiological trajectory
These authors explore the role of homelessness in drug and sexual risk in a population of young men who have sex with men (YMSM). They used data from a cross-sectional survey conducted between 2000 and 2001 in New York City (N=569) to compare and contrast three subgroups: (1) YMSM with no history of homelessness, (2) YMSM with a past history of homelessness but who were not homeless at the time of the interview, and (3) YMSM who were currently homeless. For each group, they describe the prevalence of a broad range of stressful life events, selected mental health problems, and selected drug and sexual risks. They also use an event history analysis approach to examine the timing of negative life experiences and homelessness relative to the onset of drug and sexual risk. Findings challenge the prevailing assumption that prior drug use is a dominant causal factor in YMSM becoming homeless. More broadly, the data illustrate the complexity of factors that must be accounted for to advance our understanding of the complexity of homelessness and its relationship to the onset of drug and sexual risk among high-risk youth populations such as YMSM. Modified Author Abstract.