Côté, P.-B. (2019). Sexual Health Services for Homeless Youth: A Qualitative Analysis of their Experiences. Journal of Social Service Research, 45(3), 429-443.
The sexual health problems experienced by homeless youth bring into question their use of available sexual health services. Using a qualitative typological analysis, this study aims to identify sexual health services utilization profiles for homeless youth, and to understand the role of the homeless experience on the utilization of sexual health services. Individual interviews were conducted with 33 homeless youth (17 men, 16 women) between 18 and 25 years of age. Typological analysis identified four profiles: (1) a targeted use of sexual health services to determine one’s serological status following a relational change during the homeless experience; (2) a limited use of sexual health services to manage sexual emergencies that arise during the homeless experience; (3) a regular use of sexual health services to avoid the risks associated with the homeless experience; (4) a frequent use of sexual health services to obtain support when engaging in prostitution during the homeless experience. This study shows that the precarious and unstable conditions within the homeless experience incite youth to utilize sexual health services in different ways. These findings point to the importance of rethinking sexual health services to better adapt them to the different utilization profiles of homeless youth.