Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth are often denied the sexual health education and skills they need and deserve. Many schools do not provide any information beyond abstinence-only education, which focuses solely on sex after marriage and only between a man and a woman. This completely ignores the needs of LGBT youth. Unfortunately, this social justice issue becomes a public health one as our communities struggle with continued high rates of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI).
GSA Network, in a historic opportunity funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is working with partner organizations, schools and youth across the nation to reduce the disproportionate burden of HIV and STIs on our youth. GSA Network’s Safe & Healthy LGBT Youth Project will work in cities and states across the US that are the hardest hit by HIV in younger communities. This important project goes beyond providing accurate and needed health knowledge to youth; it will empower youth and the communities they thrive in to change the conversation around HIV and to protect themselves from this preventable virus.
The Safe & Healty LGBT Youth Project will work in many diverse areas across the US, helping local communities identify the best ways they can address the rising rates of HIV among LGBT youth. Many schools create safer spaces, like GSAs, while others provide LGBT-inclusive sexual health information, both formally and informally. Set to last five years, GSA Network is excited to add the Safe & Healthy LGBT Youth Project to its growing list of national programs—complementing the National Association of GSA Networks and our Racial and Economic Justice work.
To find out more about the Safe & Healthy LGBT Youth Project, email our Project Director, Dave Reynolds, at Dave@gsanetwork.org.