Healthy Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Students Project
The Healthy LGB Students Project is funded by the Division of Adolescent and School Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC-DASH) to provide capacity-building assistance to schools and other organizations that serve gay and bisexual young men at risk for HIV infection, especially African-American and Latino youth. Our goal is to help schools, families, and communities promote the healthy growth and full development of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning (LGBQ) youth.
About the Project
LGBQ youth challenges
LGBQ youth share the same developmental needs, progress through the same maturity-building process, and wrestle with the same concerns as other adolescents. However, LGBQ youth have unique challenges that schools, families, and communities ought to be aware of to help smooth the path to adulthood.
Safe and supportive schools
As key aspect of positive youth development is a safe, secure, and supportive school environment. LGBQ youth are often harassed or bullied in school, which can have long-lasting negative effects on them. Fortunately, research and best practice guidelines provide useful direction on how to establish and maintain safe spaces for all youth.
School staff professional development
The project conducts professional development workshops on promoting healthy outcomes and preventing health risks among LGBQ youth for school counselors, nurses, social workers, and psychologists. Project-sponsored trainers conduct these theory- and research-based workshops in partnership with professional membership associations and state and local education agencies. The resources found in the Toolbox section of the workshop’s participant manual are now online.
A large number of organizations and professional societies have developed valuable guidance information to help schools, families, and communities foster healthy and successful LGBQ youth. The selected resources pages list many essential organizations and publications for pupil services professionals, teachers, LGBQ youth, parents and family members, and community-based organizations.
The American Library Association’s Rainbow Project Bibliography lists books and other resources for young people that reflect LGBT individuals, groups, and experiences.
ACT (Assets Coming Together) for Youth, a collaboration of Cornell University, University of Rochester, and New York State Center for School Safety, provides extensive resources and research on positive youth development with an emphasis on sexual and reproductive health.
The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences published Adolescent Health Services (2009) to examine the health status of adolescents and provide guidance on investing in, strengthening, and improving an integrated health system for young people.
It’s Your Sex Life is a public information campaign for adolescents conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in partnership with MTV. The new Get Yourself Tested campaign is one component of it.
Advocates for Youth offers Creating Safe Space for GLBTQ Youth: A Toolkit, which provides tips and strategies that aim to help service providers create a climate in their organization that will make everyone feel safe.
President Obama: It Gets Better
President Obama shares his message of hope and support for LGBT youth who are struggling with being bullied.
HIV and AIDS among African American Youth Rising (PDF, 132 KB)
The CDC released this fact sheet featuring current data on African American youth, the population most severely affected by HIV infection in the United States.
HIV/AIDS Rates are Rising Rapidly among Black Young Men
A graph illustrating the cases of HIV and AIDS diagnosed among young men ages 15-19 (all sexual orientations), by race/ethnicity and year of diagnosis, 2004-2007 in 39 areas with confidential, name-based HIV infection reporting.
Among Teens, 40% of New HIV/AIDS Diagnoses in 2006 were among Black Gay Young Men
A graph illustrating the number of persons aged 15–19 years diagnosed with HIV or AIDS in 2006 by sex, race/ethnicity, and mode of HIV transmission in 33 states and five US territories with confidential name-based HIV infection reporting.
Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation (PDF, 816 KB)
In August 2009 APA released this task force report conducted a systematic review of the peer-reviewed journal literature on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) and concluded that efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm. The appropriate application of affirmative therapeutic interventions for those who seek SOCE involves therapist acceptance, support, and understanding of clients and the facilitation of clients’ active coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, without imposing a specific sexual orientation identity outcome.
Sexual and Reproductive Health of Persons Aged 10–24 Years—United States, 2002–2007
In July CDC released this surveillance summary, which compiles data from multiple surveys into a single reference report to make the information more easily accessible to policy makers, researchers, and program providers. The report addresses three primary topics:
1) current levels of risk behavior and health outcomes;
2) disparities by sex, age, race/ethnicity, and geographic residence; and
3) trends over time.
Of particular interest, this report includes—for the first time—HIV infection data for teens ages 15–19 disaggregated by sex, race/ethnicity, and mode of HIV transmission (Table 16). It shows that young Black gay men comprised 40% of new diagnoses in 2006, and that youth HIV infection rates are rising rapidly, as illustrated in the charts below.
The Family Acceptance Project
San Francisco State University has released groundbreaking research that correlates a family’s degree of rejection of LGB youth with negative health outcomes when they are young adults.