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First guide on sexual health care rights for youth in state custody released

By |2018-01-15T22:55:07-05:00December 16th, 2010|News|

New York, NY
The Center for HIV Law and Policy released the first legal report and guide on the rights of youth in detention and foster care facilities to comprehensive sexual health care, including sexual medical care, sexuality education, and staff training on sexual orientation and the needs and rights of LGBTQ youth. The publication, “Juvenile Injustice: The Unfulfilled Rights of Youth in State Custody to Comprehensive Sexual Health Care,” analyzes the foundation of this right and the sexual health care needs of youth in out-of-home care.

“Youth in state custody, particularly LGBTQ youth, are at higher-than-average risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections and HIV,” said Rene Bennett-Carlson, CHLP’s Managing Attorney and one of the authors of the publication.
“Yet there is not one state in the country that guarantees access to the necessary sexual medical care and scientifically accurate and inclusive sexuality education that would address this health crisis,” Bennett-Carlson continued. “There are also virtually no state mandates for staff training that addresses routine ignorance about sexual orientation, and the life-threatening abuse that LGBTQ kids and others face in state facilities as a consequence.”

Youth in out-of-home-care report sexual activity at earlier ages, higher-risk sexual activity and greater rates of STIs and HIV than youth who live with family members. These sexual health risks are additionally severe for LGBTQ youth, who are disproportionately represented in state detention and foster care facilities but are largely ignored in health care and education services. According to a recent Department of Justice Report, gay youth are also more likely to be the victims of sexual abuse while confined to juvenile facilities.
“Juvenile Injustice” can be accessed and downloaded at It is the first in a series of publications that CHLP’s Teen SENSE (Sexual health and Education Now in State Environments) initiative is developing for legal and community advocates as well as government and public health officials.

The publication and Teen SENSE are made possible by generous support from the MAC AIDS Fund, the Arcus Foundation’s Gay and Lesbian Fund and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.