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July 15, 1988

Center Provides Approach to Major Social III: Homeless Urban Runaways, 'Throwaways'

Author Affiliations

(University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor)

(University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor)

JAMA. 1988;260(3):311-312. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410030019005

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DISENGAGED from traditional social networks, urban homeless youth present a special challenge to health and social welfare workers seeking to educate adolescents about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Runaways and "throwaways" (abandoned youths) are far more likely than other adolescents to adopt high-risk behaviors for contracting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Yet this group is cut off from current educational campaigns on television, in classrooms, and through mass mailings that explain how HIV is transmitted and what actions may protect against infection.

One group addressing this critical educational gap is San Francisco's Larkin Street Youth Center, which administers an AIDS outreach program for homeless adolescents. At a recent meeting of educators and health care professionals at the American Medical Association's National Congress on Adolescent Health in Chicago, Larkin Street was highlighted among adolescent health programs nationwide.

To date, 270 of 64 506 reported cases of AIDS in the United States involve