The Impact of Homelessness on Recent Sex Trade among Pregnant Women in Drug Treatment.

Research paper by Qiana L QL Brown, Courtenay E CE Cavanaugh, Typhanye V TV Penniman, William W WW Latimer

Indexed on: 04 Jul '12Published on: 04 Jul '12Published in: Journal of substance use


This study is a secondary data analysis aimed to examine the influence of recent homelessness on recent sex trade among pregnant women in drug treatment after controlling for psychiatric comorbidity, age, education, and race. Eighty-one pregnant women from a drug treatment program in Baltimore, Maryland attended an in-person interview and completed the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders-IV for Axis I disorders, the HIV Risk Behavior Interview, and demographic questionnaires, which assessed psychiatric symptoms, recent homelessness, and sexual risk behavior respectively. Women who experienced recent homelessness had a 4.74 greater odds of having recently traded sex than women who had not been recently homeless, suggesting that homelessness uniquely influences sex trade beyond psychiatric status, which was also a significant correlate of recent sex trade. Addressing both homelessness and psychiatric problems may effectively reduce sex trade and risk for infectious diseases, which could adversely impact maternal and child health outcomes.