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Access to Safety: Health Outcomes, Substance Use and Abuse, and Service Provision for LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YQSW Who Engage in Survival Sex

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2016
70 pages
This third of three reports from a 3-year study based on interviews with 283 youth who engaged in survival sex in New York City focuses on these youths' sexual, physical, and mental health problems; substance-use behaviors; and treatment and service-provider experiences.
The study focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and youth questioning their sexual identity (LGBTQ); young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW). All of the youth interviewed engaged in sex for money they needed to meet their basic survival needs ("survival sex"). The interviews were conducted by youth leaders trained to conduct in-depth interviews with youth engaged in survival sex. The interviews solicited information from the youth about their exposure to sexually transmitted diseases(STDs) and other health issues; the extent of substance abuse; and treatment and service-provider experiences. Seven key findings are reported. First, most youth reported using barrier and non-barrier protection, most often condoms, to protect against STDs and pregnancy. Second, medical providers were often the first professionals the youth sought for medical information and services. Third, 93 percent of the youth had visited one or more service providers. Fourth, although most youth had positive attitudes toward the programs and services they received, some reported feeling discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Fifth, of the 260 youth who sought services, 36 percent indicated their needs were fully met, but 64 percent expressed having needs that were not served. Sixth, service providers often cooperated to meet client needs through formal and informal partnerships. Seventh, there was a lack of services available for youth ages 18 and 21. 6 figures and 31 references

Date Published: February 1, 2016