The Homeless and Closeted Community


These tests would be able to be done at every homeless shelter around the county, but it would not be solely for the homeless. The tests could also be taken by patients who do not have the money to pay for Medicare or any other types of insurance. The service is mainly for those who do not have money to provide for themselves, but it would also be open for people who do not wish for the whole society to know. Usually the homeless shelters are located in places where most people are not aware of. For example a house down the block could be Mercy House, or Emmanuel House, yet one would only know that if one were referred to those houses. Santa Ana is mainly dominated by Hispanics of which include Mexicans, Salvadorians, and a few Guatemalans. Also, many of these families are immigrants, first, or second generation Americans. What this means is that many traditional ways of thinking have “crossed the boarder” and being homosexual or a drug user is an offense of the worst kind; probably as bad murder or stealing. Thus, many Hispanic men who are homosexual act just like the African American “brothers on the down low.” For this same reason, many men do not like to get tested because they do not want to be associated with the homosexual community. However, many choose to say that they are bisexual so that they can be accepted a little bit more than the homosexuals. According to “Sexual Behaviors and Risks Among Bisexually- and Gay Identified Young Latino Men” in AIDS and Behavior many Hispanic youth are confused by their sexuality because they were taught that it was a sin (4). Although supposedly the bisexuals are accepted more they tend to find themselves without support from the gay and heterosexual community (4). Also men, who have relationships with women, but still have romantic feelings for other men, tend to use drugs and alcohol during sexual intercourse with other men (4). Thus, they tend to not use any protection during intercourse, and since these relationships are not monogamous and the men sleep around with many other men, they are at a higher risk of HIV (4). Moreover, many of the men use the internet to look for mates. It is not used to find long term relationships, but to have many one night excursions. The American Journal of Public Health says that many use the internet to find “hard-to-reach” populations that are not easily found on a day to day basis (5). It also says that many of these internet users or at higher risk because they tend not to use condoms during anal intercourse (5). Many of these bisexual guys do not want other people to know their sexual lifestyles, so they won’t get tested for HIV, since it is stereotypically known to be a homosexual disease.  For those reasons, it would benefit all to have testing done at the shelters.


Mercy House