Youth

The CHIP Youth Project (CYP) was established in 1997 and is the only comprehensive health care program in the Rocky Mountain Region focused on serving youth (aged 13 to 24) living with HIV, affected by HIV, or at-risk for HIV infection. CYP’s comprehensive services include HIV prevention and education, HIV testing, and multidisciplinary care for youth living with HIV. CYP collaborates with community organizations serving youth and provides HIV prevention, testing and counseling services in those agencies.

CYP believes that youth can, and will, make good decisions about their health when provided accurate information and consistent support. Thus, clients who receive CYP services become empowered consumers better prepared to navigate the health care system. Throughout their care with CYP, youth are trained in the knowledge and skills needed to manage their HIV care as independent adults. When a young person is ready, CYP works with area clinicians to provide a smooth transition into adult care.

CYP is the fiduciary lead and collectively leads the Youth HIV Advocacy Coalition, YHAC. This coalition spearheads collaborative efforts to prevent HIV infection among youth and to increase early identification of youth living with HIV. Collaborative partners include: Prax(us), Rainbow Alley, Denver Area Youth Services, Colorado AIDS Project, Urban Peak, Colorado Organization for Latina Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, Colorado Anti Violence Program, and Harm Reduction Action Center.

CYP collaborates with HIV prevention programs through the Colorado HIV AIDS Prevention Program (CHAPP) with Rainbow Alley, Prax(us) and Urban Peak Denver. CYP outreach testing involves working with community based and school based nurse practitioners within vulnerable youth communities, such as Commerce City.

CHIP has a long history of collaboratively designing, managing and implementing evidence-based HIV prevention and education programs. Recent successes include:

  • Oversight of a CHAPP grant since 2007 that is specifically designed to reach vulnerable youth with culturally competent HIV prevention information and includes key youth-serving agencies.
  • 933 youth received HIV testing through 15 diverse outreach sites that CHIP manages and supports; and,
  • CHIP has been conducting HIV antibody testing since 2002. As an example of CHIP Youth Project’s success in 2009, CHIP targeted testing to LGBTQ youth at Rainbow Alley: 117 youth were tested, two were identified as living with HIV and linked successfully into HIV specialty care. This represents a 1.7% sero-positivity rate which is above the national average.
  • The CHIP Youth Project (CYP) collaborates with Hey Denver, Prax(us), Carin’ Clinic, Rainbow Alley,  Inside/Out Youth Services, Servicios De La Raza, and Urban Peak   to provide HIV rapid testing to youth served there under the age of 25
  • Historically, YHAC/CHIP have completed 100-200 HIV tests for youth at Youth Alley during Pride Festival.