Published June, 2007

Sexual Health Advocacy for Youth in Foster Care and Detention Facilities, Legal and Policy Outline, The Center for HIV Law and Policy (2007)

The Center for HIV Law and Policys (CHLP) legal and policy outline for advocating for sexual health and HIV prevention programming for youth in state custody. Youth in the state welfare and juvenile justice systems, especially lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning youth, are at alarmingly high risk of becoming HIV-infected. There is a critical need to address discriminatory treatment and the lack of policies, staff training and services that endanger and stigmatize these youth. Targeting advocacy in this direction has a potentially significant impact for the health of at-risk youth and the communities to which they return. The outline highlights various strategies for addressing the states failures; for example, policy and regulations reforms and using existing state laws governing adolescents autonomy and sexual orientation discrimination, as well as state and federal privacy, equal protection, substantive due process and first amendment guarantees to gain legal inroads to securing statesponsored sexual health care services for detained youth.