LGBTQ youth are at a much higher risk for homelessness. Of youth who experience homelessness, about 20 to 40% of them are LGBTQ despite only constituting about 10% of the general population. The reasons for homelessness are complex and often go back to homophobia and lack of family supports, resulting in youth being forced out of their homes or running away from home. When youth are experiencing homelessness, they are more likely to engage in high risk behaviors (such as engaging in transactional sex and using substances). that increase their risk of contracting HIV.
As a compounding factor, all youth ages 13 to 24 accounted for more than 1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses in 2015. Most of these new infections occur in gay or bisexual males. Persons living with HIV need stable housing to have optimal health. To read more about the intersection of health and housing, read our fact sheet here. It is imperative we push for policies that help LGBTQ youth obtain stable housing as a means of preventing HIV as well as a way of advancing the health of those living with HIV.