Youth in State Custody

Young people institutionalized in foster care and juvenile justice facilities are overwhelmingly members of the communities most affected by, and at risk for, HIV: low-income youth, youth of color, LGBTQ youth, and survivors of violence and other abuse. For many of these young people, the path to state custody may have included a period of living on the streets, substance abuse, or exchanging sex for money or drugs. It is critical that youth in state custody are provided comprehensive, LGBTQ-inclusive sexual health care, including the information and resources necessary to make healthful decisions, and an environment that is respectful and responsive to the health needs of youth, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

This HIV Policy Resource Bank category includes materials addressing issues such as access to health care, HIV prevention efforts, child welfare and juvenile justice reform, and the rights and needs of LGBTQ youth.

We also encourage you to visit our Teen SENSE page, which describes our national initiative working to secure the right of youth in state custody to comprehensive, LGBTQ-inclusive sexual health care and sexual health capacity-building resources, and to ensure youth facilities staff competence on these issues.