Strengthening and building sexual health of Aboriginal youth and young adults

Last Updated: February 6, 2014

  (Co-investigator)
Bonnie Jeffery, PhD (Co-investigator)

Sexual health of youth is an important topic since behaviours associated with adult morbidity often begin in adolescence, especially sexual health behaviours.

In this province, the Aboriginal population comprises a young and growing population. At the same time, HIV/AIDS is a growing problem in Aboriginal communities, and rates of unplanned pregnancies and hospitalization rates for pregnancy-related complications are very high. In response, Aboriginal community-based organizations are addressing these issues by providing culturally competent healing interventions.

For this study, university and community-based research partners, using a community research action methodology, administered a sexual health survey to 201 Aboriginal youth served by community-based service agencies in one Canadian urban setting (Regina, Saskatchewan). In order to gain a better understanding of barriers faced by youth when attempting to access sexual health services as well as barriers faced by service providers when providing services, eight focus groups were also conducted.

Goals / Outcomes: The objective of the research was to gain a better understanding of sexual health knowledge, behaviours, health service utilization, and service needs of "invisible" (Community) Aboriginal youth who are not adequately represented in existing databases. The project resulted in a series of fact sheets with information on sexual health behaviours, sexual health knowledge, HIV/AIDS, how to get youth to access services, barriers to sexual health services, and other topics.

Funder: CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Program

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