Hepatitis C virus infection, substance use and mental illness among homeless youth: a review

AIDS. 2005 Oct;19 Suppl 3:S34-40. doi: 10.1097/01.aids.0000192068.88195.27.


Objectives: Homeless youth are at a high risk of substance abuse, mental illness and blood-borne infections, such as hepatitis C. In this paper, we review the implications of these conditions, discuss the unique challenges faced by homeless youth, and explore potential strategies for harm reduction and intervention in this vulnerable population.

Results: Interventions that combine youth-centered, service-based care, street outreach, case management, and motivational interviewing with integrated health services such as hepatitis A/B vaccination, and mental health and substance abuse programmes, are presented as innovative approaches to address the healthcare needs of homeless youth.

Conclusion: Recommendations for age-appropriate interventions and further research are made.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Hepatitis B / complications
  • Hepatitis C / complications
  • Hepatitis C / prevention & control*
  • Hepatitis C / transmission
  • Homeless Youth
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / complications*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*