AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 10, Supplement 1, pp 57–66 | Cite as

Sexual and Drug Use Risk Behaviors among Children and Youth in Street Circumstances in Porto Alegre, Brazil

  • Fernanda Torres de Carvalho
  • Lucas Neiva-Silva
  • Mauro Cunha Ramos
  • Jennifer Evans
  • Sílvia Helena Koller
  • Cesar Augusto Piccinini
  • Kimberly Page-Shafer
Original Paper


We conducted a cross-sectional study to assess sexual and drug use risk in 161 children and youth in street circumstances in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Median age was 14 and 79% were male. Overall, 59% reported ever having had sex; a significantly higher proportion of males (66%) compared to females (30%). Overall, 39% reported illicit drug use in the last year, and only 1.2% reported injection drug use. In multivariate analyses, correlates of unsafe sex included younger age of sexual debut, and having a steady sex partner. Independent correlates of illicit drug use included lack of family contact, increased hours in the street daily, having had an HIV test, and older age. A high proportion of children and youth in street circumstances reported high risk sex and drug exposures, confirming their vulnerability to HIV/STD. Services Centers, such as where this research was carried out, offer an opportunity for interventions.


Street children and youth Street circumstances Vulnerability HIV Sexual risk Drug use 



Researchers (FTC, LNS, SHK, CAP) from Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul were supported by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvovimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) in Brazil. Additional support for this project including for CEARGS, and researchers (MCR, JE, and KPS) was received from NIH/Fogarty Centers ICOHORTA Grant (1 D43 TW05799–03). We would like to acknowledge the contribution of Joana Plentz Marquadt, Renata Reis Barros, Carmela Tubino and Geraldine Fontana for assistance in data collection and entry. We also acknowledge Lúcia Martins Costa Bohmgahren, Luciana Rubensan Ourique, André de Carvalho Barreto and Cibele Machado for assistance in data entry. We gratefully acknowledge the participants, who were so generous with their time and enthusiasm while participating in this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernanda Torres de Carvalho
    • 1
  • Lucas Neiva-Silva
    • 1
    • 4
  • Mauro Cunha Ramos
    • 2
  • Jennifer Evans
    • 3
  • Sílvia Helena Koller
    • 1
  • Cesar Augusto Piccinini
    • 1
  • Kimberly Page-Shafer
    • 3
  1. 1.Instituto de PsicologiaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Centro de Estudos de AIDS e DST do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  3. 3.Center for AIDS Prevention StudiesDepartment of Medicine, University of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  4. 4.Centro de Estudos Psicológicos de Meninos e Meninas em Situação de Rua—Instituto de PsicologiaUFRGSPorto AlegreBrazil

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