Sexuality and health among young people living with HIV in Sweden – A study on knowledge, attitudes and behaviour among young people and young adults aged 16-29
This is a report on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and STI prevention among young people and young adults (16-29 years) living with HIV in Sweden. The report is based on a survey conducted in 2018. The starting point is the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s work on the national HIV strategy and the follow-up work on SRHR.
The report shows that the respondents experience a life of good health and that they have a positive outlook on their futures. At the same time, the results show that participants have specific health conditions and needs in relation to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Although the results are not generalisable to all young people living with HIV in Sweden, they give an indication of the health situation in the group. The results should also be interpreted based on multiple vulnerability factors, since a high proportion of respondents were foreign-born and LGBTQ people while living with HIV. In order to further provide for a level playing field for good health, the following areas should be highlighted and addressed:
- Only 39 per cent of young people with HIV are as open about their HIV status as they would like to be. This affects girls harder than boys.
- A high proportion of young people with HIV (30 per cent) experience discrimination. Discrimination usually has multiple vulnerabilities, as a high proportion of the group are LGBTQ people, foreign-born and live with HIV.
- A relatively high proportion of young people with HIV (40 per cent) have had suicidal thoughts.
- A high proportion of young people with HIV have been subjected to sex against their will (56 per cent) and have had sex for compensation (13 per cent).
- Young people with HIV want to obtain more knowledge about research and medicines.
- Young people with HIV want support in how to live a more open life.
- Young people living with HIV use condoms to a greater extent than other young people and thus take more responsibility for their sexual health than other young people. Knowledge of, and responsibility for safer sex, needs to be shared with young people in the rest of the population.
- Young people living with HIV want to obtain more knowledge about their rights.