This paper, presented at the 2008 international "Sex, Rights, and the Law in a World with AIDS" conference in Cuernavaca, Mexico, analyzes the goals, obstacles, strategies, and lessons learned from the first years of the Teen SENSE initiative. Teen SENSE provides a new strategy for addressing sexual health care for youth at high risk of STIs and HIV, by acknowledging that sexual health care requires not only appropriate medical services, but also counseling, education, and a safe, inclusive environment for youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The paper discusses Teen SENSE's creation of a legal rights "road map" for the right of youth in state custody to comprehensive sexual health care, as well as the creation of model standards that reflect the best practices to ensure that state custody facilities respect, protect, and fulfill these rights. It also discusses Teen SENSE's strategy of implementing change through local leadership, with CHLP adopting a principle of "leading from behind."
The Center for HIV Law and Policy is a national resource and advocacy organization working to advance the rights of people affected by HIV. We combine an online HIV Policy Resource Bank, a creative national advocacy agenda, and case assistance focused on systems and institutions with significant impact on marginalized communities.