HIV/STI/HCV Prevention and Related Services Initiative
In 2018, ACT for Youth began providing support for two New York State program provider groups working in the area of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STI), and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevention services. Both groups are funded by the AIDS Institute of the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).
HIV/STI/HCV Prevention and Related Services for Young Gay Men / Young Men who have Sex with Men
Funding supports programs that provide a comprehensive range of HIV/STI/HCV prevention interventions and related supportive services for young (ages 13-29) gay men and young men who have sex with men (YMSM) with a focus on communities of color. The overall goals are to:
- Prevent new HIV/STI/HCV infections by increasing access to comprehensive sexual health information, behavioral, and biomedical interventions, and essential supportive services
- Identify individuals who are living with HIV/STI/HCV and unaware of their status and ensure access to early, high quality medical care and prevention services.
Specific objectives are to:
- Reduce disease incidence
- Decrease risk of sexual and drug using behaviors among persons living with HIV and persons who engage in behaviors that put them at risk of HIV/STI/HCV infection
- Increase the number of persons living with HIV/STI/HCV who are aware of their status
- Increase the number of persons living with HIV/STI/HCV who are linked to prevention, partner services, and treatment/medical care
The current initiative began in March 2023 with funding for 20 projects.
HIV/STI/HCV Prevention and Related Services for Young People Through the Use of Youth Health Advocates
Funding supports HIV/STI/HCV prevention for young people ages 13-24 with a focus on communities of color. Programs take a high impact approach to prevention, providing a comprehensive range of interventions and services that promote sexual health. The initiative's foundation is built upon the principles and practices of positive youth development and youth empowerment. Programs utilize a sexual health framework to create supportive conditions and environments that allow young people to develop the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, beliefs, and skills to make healthy choices that support their sexual health and well-being.
Under this initiative, programs train and support young people to serve as Youth Health Advocates (YHAs) to enhance the delivery of services to the priority population. YHAs are a diverse group of 6-10 young people who are representative of the priority populations (Black, Latino/Latinx, Native American/Indigenous people, and Asian young people) who are engaging in, or have previously engaged in, behaviors that place them at high risk of HIV/STD/HCV infection.
Funded programs address the social determinants of health, community barriers, and environmental factors that impede young people's access to comprehensive sexual health education and services, increasing their risk for STIs, HCV, HIV infection, and unintended pregnancy. Programs aim to build on community assets and strengths to create an environment that promotes and supports the sexual health and comprehensive well-being of youth.
The current initiative began in March 2023 with funding for 7 Youth Health Advocate projects For more information on efforts in this area by the New York State Department of Health, visit Ending the AIDS Epidemic in New York State.
For more information on efforts in this area by the New York State Department of Health, visit Ending the AIDS Epidemic in New York State.