The policies of U.S. local public housing authorities influence which populations have access to stable housing, an important resource for health. We assessed whether the restrictiveness of local public housing authority policies related to people with criminal justice histories—a population at high risk for HIV/STIs—were associated with HIV/STI rates at the local-level. An ecological analysis was conducted using data from 107 local public housing authority jurisdictions. The independent variable was a score that quantified the presence/absence of eight policies related to the ability of people with criminal justice histories to obtain and retain public housing. The dependent variables were county-level rates of HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia. Ordinary least squares regression with state fixed effects was used. We find that the restrictiveness of housing authority policies towards people with criminal justice histories were significantly associated with higher HIV and gonorrhea rates, but not syphilis or chlamydia. For example, local housing authorities with a policy score more restrictive than the median score had an additional 6.05 cases of HIV per 100,000 population (32.9% increase relative to the mean rate) and 84.61 cases of newly diagnosed gonorrhea (41.3% increase). Local public housing authority policies related to people with criminal justice histories could affect HIV/STI risk at the population-level. These policies should be considered in studies and interventions at the intersection of housing, health, and justice involved populations.
- Criminal justice
- Sexuality transmitted infections
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health