XIX International AIDS Conference

SUSA31 Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The HIV Crisis Among Street Youth
  Non-Commercial Satellite
Venue: Mini Room 6
Time: 22.07.2012, 11:15 - 13:15
Co-Chairs: Roman Yorick, Russian Federation
Jimmy Kolker, United States
Organiser: SAMHSA, US Department of Health and Human Services, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
Russia and Ukraine are home to the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the World. Both countries account for over 1.3 million, or 95% of all HIV cases in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Street children and youth constitute one of the most at-risk populations;driven by drug use, sexual exploitation, limited access to public services, and extreme stigma and discrimination. Multi-city studies in 2006-2008 illustrated HIV prevalence rates among street youth 15-19 years of age ranging from 9.8% in Donetsk, Ukraine, to 37.4% in St. Petersburg, Russia. HealthRight (NGO), Larkin Street (USA), and their partners, Doctors to Children from Russia, and the Ukrainian Foundation for Public Health, will explore their progress, challenges and lessons learned in addressing HIV in the street youth in Russia, Ukraine and the United States. The goal of the session is to demonstrate to attendees the importance of building programs that address the need for HIV services for street youth.



R. Yorick, Russian Federation

Addressing HIV Among Homeless Youth in the United States

L. Tannenbaum, United States


HIV Risk Factors and HIV Prevalence among Street Youth in Russia 2006-2012

Y. Batluk, Russian Federation


Street Youth in Ukraine: Focus on Girls and HIV Prevention

H. Skipalska, Ukraine

open discussion

Powerpoints presentations
Introduction - Roman Yorick

HIV Risk Factors and HIV Prevalence among Street Youth in Russia 2006-2012 - Yulia Batluk

Street Youth in Ukraine: Focus on Girls and HIV Prevention - Halyna Skipalska

Rapporteur report

Youth report by James Gray

In the US, Ukraine and Russia, homeless youth have been recognized as an at risk population for HIV. In the US, youth aged 13-29 accounted for 39% of new HIV infections in 2009. Every year, an estimated 1.7 to 2 million youth experience homelessness in the US. Homeless youth are at increased risk of contracting HIV due to many factors including participation in survival sex, having sex with risky partners,  needle sharing, minimal condom use, IV drug use etc. Larkin Street Youth Services (LKYS) located in San Francisco works to address homelessness among youth and put an end to HIV among homeless youth. Strategies utilized by Larkin include offering housing as health care, employing a harm reduction approach, providing youth friendly services, and co-locating services.

In Russia, there are approximately 1-5 million street youth. In 2006, a survey conducted between US CDC and Health Right International revealed an HIV prevalence of 37.4% among street youth aged 15-19 years old. In 2011, another assessment was conducted among street youth across 8 different regions of Russia. This assessment revealed a significant decrease in many risk factors associated with HIV among street youth, including injection drug use, but also revealed a steady level of risky sexual behavior and alcohol use.  The reasons for this may be closely linked to the lack of sex education in schools and an increased knowledge among street youth of the association between drug use and HIV.

In the Ukraine, there are an estimated 30-100,000 youth who live on the streets. In 2008, Health Right International and CDC found an HIV prevalence of 18.4% among street youth located in 3 districts in Ukraine. Additionally, street youth who are girls represent a small percentage (24%) but highly vulnerable subgroup. HealthRight provides street outreach services, including VCT, psyco-social counseling, STI testing etc and has established several drop-in centers.  In 2010, Health Right and UFPH launched a program targeting street youth girls who are at risk of HIV infection, including street outreach and a drop in center offering legal assistance, HIV/STI counseling and testing, job placement etc.



    The organizers reserve the right to amend the programme.

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