Twenty-one percent of new HIV cases in 2018 in the United States occurred among people ages 13-24 (CDC, 2020). Cases were overwhelmingly among gay/bisexual men, particularly African Americans.
HIV infections among U.S. youth declined 6% between 2010 and 2016, although only 56% were aware of their HIV infection.
Young RWHAP Clients and Viral Suppression
In 2018, 4.2% of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) clients were 24 and younger. The proportion of RWHAP clients who achieved viral suppression has increased steadily from 2010 to 2018, from 69.5% to 87.1%. However, RWHAP clients aged 13-24 do not fare as well, with only 76.3% in this age group achieving viral suppression, according to the 2018 RWHAP Annual Client-Level Data Report. Viral suppression was lowest among youth with unstable housing (63.7%), youth with no health care coverage (68.2%), transgender youth (68.0%).
Learn more: See the Fact Sheet: Youth and Young Adult Clients: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, 2018 (HRSA, January 2020)
TA and Training Projects
Our Adolescents & Youth topic page presents various technical resources on HIV care. Below are highlights.
Building Futures: Supporting Youth Living with HIV has identified best practices for enhancing services to youth living with HIV (YLWH), ages 13-24, which contribute to better outcomes in retention and viral suppression.
Various innovative social and digital media methods to engage underserved youth with HIV into primary care and supportive services were developed under this SPNS initiative. Learn about the social media, internet, and mobile-based technologies developed by the 10 demonstration sites.
Clinical Quality Management
The end+disparities ECHO Collaborative is a HRSA-supported national improvement initiative to measurably increase viral suppression rates for four disproportionately affected subpopulations of people with HIV among Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program recipients/subrecipients. The selected HIV subpopulations are African American Women and Latinas, MSM of Color, Transgender People, and Youth. Multiple brief didactic presentations from national affinity sessions are available on topics including youth, engagement, and retention.
Find HIV Care Innovations: Replication Resources for additional best practices in HIV care
The In It Together Health Literacy Project was a HRSA-supported project designed to increase health professionals’ understanding and use of health literacy to improve engagement and retention in HIV care and treatment. Their materials for providers are available online, and include a set specifically for Black MSM.
Engaging Black MSM in Care
HRSA has supported numerous initiatives over the decades to enhance care delivery for hard-hit populations, including young African American gay/bisexual men. Among these initiatives are the following:
The His Health: Engaging Black MSM in HIV Care project offers a compendium of care models, training modules on PrEP and other topics, and resources for enhanced linkage, retention, and engagement strategies targeting Black MSM. The initiative targets providers and offers continuing medical education (CME) and continuing nursing unit (CNU) credits for clinicians to increase their capacity to accelerate health care service delivery to Black MSM.
The Well Versed program is a conversation-starting resource for health care providers and Black MSM. This consumer-oriented website provides information about how to get the most out of health care by being active and informed.