HIV/AIDS AND HOMELESSNESS
People with HIV/AIDS are more likely to become homeless as their incomes are drained by the costs of healthcare…
- lack of affordable housing is a critical problem facing a growing number of people living with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and other illnesses caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV);
- people with HIV/AIDS may lose their jobs because of discrimination or because of the fatigue and periodic hospitalisation caused by HIV-related illnesses. They may also find their incomes drained by the costs of health care;
- as a result, it has been estimated that 1 out of 4 people living with HIV in New York City is homeless or marginally housed. A Los Angeles study found that 2/3 of people with AIDS had been homeless. Depending upon who is counting and where, HIV infection rates in homeless communities run from 8.5% to as high as 19.5% in the US;
- up to 50% of persons living with HIV/AIDS are expected to need housing assistance of some kind during their lifetimes;
- many homeless youths, left with no other options, find that exchanging sex for food, shelter and clothing is their only chance for survival. As a result, homeless adolescents are at a greater risk of contracting AIDS compared to their peers with welcoming homes.