POSITIVE ACTION FOR YOUTH
We are committed to supporting innovative solutions and nurturing programs to help young leaders and their allies close gaps in HIV prevention, care and supportive services for youth living with or affected by HIV and AIDS.
Young people 13-24 years old have always known a world where HIV is preventable and treatable. Breakthrough scientific advances and bold community work have lessened the number of new HIV diagnoses substantially and improved the well-being of people living with HIV. Despite this progress, the disproportionate impact on youth remains a concern.
One in five new HIV diagnoses in the US are among young people, with Black and Latinx queer youth experiencing the greatest number of new diagnoses.1 Young people are the least likely of all age groups to know their HIV status – only about half of young people know their status,2 and knowing one’s status is the entry point to HIV care. When young people are diagnosed, they are the least likely be linked to HIV care in a timely way.3 Across all areas of life, youth report experiencing the most HIV-related stigma in the past year compared to other age groups.4
We know there’s more to do to support young people living with and vulnerable to HIV. Since our beginning, we have been solely focused on leaving no one living with HIV behind. Young people are championing a new response to the epidemic in North America and around the globe, and we’re dedicated to activating the networks, services, and resources in the US and Puerto Rico that nourish whole-person health for young people and their communities.
Our Response: Thinking Differently To End the Epidemic Among Youth
Positive Action for Youth (PAFY) was piloted in 2017 as an initiative leveraging mentorship as a tool to help young people living with HIV stay engaged during the transition from pediatric to adult care. The initiative has since grown from five grantees and a $1 million commitment to more than fifteen grantees and $4.5 million distributed across the country.
We strive to develop funding opportunities that reflect and respond to youth themselves. Like all ViiV Healthcare initiatives, Positive Action for Youth is grounded in our community-centered framework– to continuously listen, boldly activate new and promising work, amplify bright spots, and sustain momentum through applying field learnings to impact change. This framework provides the space for young people, our grantees and our partners to have a direct impact on the way Positive Action initiatives evolve, ensuring that we are responsive to communities. What started as a specific focus on medical mentorship evolved to support community-driven and medical mentoring, leadership development, safe spaces, prevention and peer navigation programs. Through this community-informed mix of grantmaking, our signature Youth Summit, and support of leadership development initiatives like National Minority AIDS Council's Youth Institute, we are working to reduce gaps in HIV care and support youth living with or vulnerable to HIV in their health and wellness.
ViiV Healthcare also funds youth-centered work in its other Positive Action initiatives, especially work supporting young Black and Latinx men, young women of color and young Southerners. Learn more here.
Hear more from our partners, including past and current grantee cohort members, talk about why it’s so important to support youth-centered and youth-led solutions in the fight against HIV.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report, 2020; vol. 33. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/library/reports/hiv-surveillance/vol-33/index.html. Published May 2022. Accessed March 28, 2023.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Estimated HIV incidence and prevalence in the United States, 2015–2019. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2021;26(No. 1). https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/library/reports/surveillance/cdc-hiv-surveillance-supplemental-report-vol-26-1.pdf. Published May 2021. Accessed February 23, 2023.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives using HIV surveillance data–United States and 6 dependent areas, 2020. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2022;27(No. 3). Revised edition. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/library/reports/surveillance/cdc-hiv-surveillance-supplemental-report-vol-27-3.pdf. Published August 2022. Accessed March 28, 2023.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Behavioral and clinical characteristics of persons with diagnosed HIV infection–Medical Monitoring Project, United States, 2020 cycle (June 2020-May 2021). HIV Surveillance Special Report 29. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/library/reports/surveillance/cdc-hiv-surveillance-special-report-number-29.pdf. Published July 2022. Accessed March 28, 2023.