Haley, Nancy; Roy, Elise; Bélanger, Lyse; Crago, Anna-louise
December 1998
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;Winter98, Vol. 7 Issue 4, p331
Academic Journal
Urban Street youth are thought to be at particular risk of infection with hepatitis B virus (J-IBV) because of high risk sexual behaviour and injection drug as well as frequent body piercing and ta:ooing. This paper describes an HBV vaccination outreach project for street youth that sought to increase access and to maximize vaccination completion rates through community outreach initiatives, accessible vaccination clinics in community organizations frequented by Street youth. and an active and innovative recall system. In the first year of the project, 639 youth aged 25 and under were reached. The 504 youth who completed questionnaires had high levels of JIB V risk behaviours with 32% having engaged in injection drug use and 58% having had more than 10 sexual partners. Preliminary analysis on a subsample of 383 from this group who had been followed for & 5 months showed that 79.1 % had completed two doses of vaccine and 50.4% all three doses. Demographic data from the questionnafres provided a basis for comparing two and three dose completion rates in different groups within the subsample. For example, both rates were higher in youth who had engaged in prostitution than in those who had not and rates were no less in youth involved in injection drug use than in those who were not The findings highlight the importance of reaching marginalized youth with HBV vaccination early in their street and of concurrently providing health care, counselling and support services adapted to their needs.


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