The determinants of sexually transmitted and blood borne infection risk among incarcerated youth
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The purpose of this study is to describe the determinants of STBBI related knowledge, risk behaviours, and prevalence as they relate to sexual health among incarcerated youth between 16 and 24 years of age in Manitoba. The study involved a cross-sectional questionnaire and testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, and Hepatitis C among 210 male and female youth in nine provincial correctional centres. Descriptive analysis of STBBI knowledge, risk behaviours, and prevalence are presented. Potential associations between each of these sexual health outcomes and the epidemiologic context of risk are explored using univariate and multiple regression analysis. Longer incarceration history was associated with higher STBBI knowledge, higher sexual risk behaviours and higher STBBI prevalence. STBBI knowledge was associated with growing up on a reserve. Early age of initial substance use and injection drug use were found to be significantly associated with poor sexual health. Recommendations include increasing STBBI awareness using culturally appropriate, peer-led interventions, improving educational attainment, integrating sexual health education with substance use interventions inside corrections, increasing collaboration between community and corrections and improving opportunities for STBBI screening inside correctional centres.