Healthy Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Students Project Begins It’s 9th Year
By Hank Tomlinson
In 2006, the Healthy Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Students Project was awarded a 5-year, $1.6 million cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to build the capacity of youth-serving organizations to prevent HIV among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning youth below the age of 18.
The project, now in its 9th year, has been continuously funded by the CDC since its inception. After completion in May of the first year of the current five-year award, the project’s progress report received an exemplary technical review at CDC.
Project staff have sought to identify education agencies across the country that both serve large numbers of students at high risk for HIV infection and have the infrastructure and capacity to make use of the project’s professional development services.
In response to a Request for Applications that was released in May, the project has begun negotiations with four education agencies to enter into four-year collaborative relationships. In the near future, we look forward to signing memoranda of agreement with two large local education agencies and with two state education agencies.
Project staff and trainers will work with education agency partners over the next four years to develop their local capacity to disseminate APA’s professional development workshop, Preventing Health Risks and Promoting Healthy Outcomes among LGBQ Youth: A Training Workshop for School Counselors, Nurses, Psychologists, and Social Workers.
The project’s efforts to build the capacity of other youth-serving organizations to prevent HIV infections among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning young people has been met with initial success. In partnership with the Behavioral and Social Science Volunteer (BSSV) program housed in APA’s Office on AIDS, the project has deployed behavioral and social scientists across the country to help community-based organizations improve their ability to implement effective, science-based HIV prevention activities. The project marketed its services to approximately 160 LGBQ-youth-serving organizations and received requests for assistance from 11 of them.
Capacity building efforts are currently underway with community-based organizations in Charlotte, Colorado Springs, San Francisco, Tampa, and Tulsa. Finally, project staff continue to play an integral role in the nationwide effort to raise awareness of the HIV prevention needs of LGBQ youth.
Hank Tomlinson, PhD, the project’s Director, has presented papers or moderated panels at several conferences, including the annual meetings of the CDC/DASH Funded Partners, the American School Health Association, and the North Carolina Healthy Schools Institute.