Black and white image of a homeless lady sitting on the pavement with no shoes on and three empty bottles next to her.

People who experience homelessness are at increased risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and in addition homeless women are more likely than the general population to become pregnant. 

Evidence also shows that people who are homeless experience poorer engagement with health services. However, research on factors influencing use of contraception and attendance to sexual and reproductive healthcare services among homeless people is very limited. 

The overall aim of this project is to improve the sexual health of people who are homeless.

Currently, Dr Martha Paisi and colleagues are working in partnership with researchers from the University of Halifax, Canada and Sexual Health Services in Plymouth to conduct a systematic review on the barriers and facilitators to accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare for people who experience homelessness. 

Upon completion, Martha and partners from local sexual health and homeless services will proceed to evaluate a Local Outreach Sexual Health Service in Plymouth. 

Parallel research will be conducted to identify the barriers and enablers for people who are homeless to accessing the sexual health services in Plymouth. 

Both studies will collect information from people who are homeless as well as people caring for the homeless.