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Enfermería Global

On-line version ISSN 1695-6141


BERBESI FERNANDEZ, Dedsy; SEGURA CARDONA, Ángela; CARDONA ARANGO, Doris  and  CAICEDO VELASQUEZ, Beatriz. HIV vulnerability index in homeless persons. Enferm. glob. [online]. 2017, vol.16, n.46, pp.154-181.  Epub Apr 01, 2017. ISSN 1695-6141.


While there is evidence that social vulnerabilities tend to co-occur with HIV, few studies have measured HIV vulnerability. To date, there is no consensus in the literature regarding how to measure or operationalize HIV vulnerability. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine an HIV vulnerability index in homeless persons in the city of Medellín, Colombia.

Material and methods

This cross-sectional study included 338 homeless persons in the city of Medellín, Colombia, and time-location sampling was used. During the construction of the index, an exploratory factor analysis, and a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were performed.


Four factors accounting for 50,49% of the variance were identified. The population with high HIV vulnerability had a five-fold greater risk of being infected with HIV. This association was adjusted for socio-demographic variables including age, gender, civil status, and education level.


We propose an HIV vulnerability index that is defined as the reduced ability to anticipate (knowledge and erroneous beliefs), resist (sexual practices and drug use), and recover (social support and rejection), which limits the ability to access HIV prevention, attention, and support services.

Keywords : HIV; Vulnerable Populations; Social Conditions; Homeless Persons.

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