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Youth, Disability and Sexual Health

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
hostland@yorku.ca