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Connecticut Children’s/UConn Health Pediatric, Youth and Family HIV Program

The Connecticut Children’s and UConn Health Pediatric, Youth and Family HIV Program is comprised of a multidisciplinary team which provides comprehensive specialty infectious disease medical and preventative care for children, youth, women and families living with and/or affected or at risk of HIV. Our primary mission is to assist children, youth, and women affected by HIV to be as healthy as possible and at the same time to prevent HIV transmission and acquisition in the people we serve. Our program is directly linked to other medical services as well as to psychosocial support and prevention education.
In efforts to ensure youth have increased awareness and access to preventative resources, our program is offering the following evidence informed evidence-based interventions:

  • Hartford Youth HIV Identification and Linkage Consortium (HYHIL),
  • Health Interactive Project (HIP)
  • Hepatitis C and other Sexually Transmitted Infections Prevention,
  • Peer to Peer (Women) Psychosocial Groups,
  • Routine HIV Testing/Self/Home HIV Testing
  • Pe Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Navigation Services.
  • Housing Stabilization Program
  • Peer Navigation Services (Mentoring)
  • Youth Recovery Groups (new)

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Navigation/ Care Services

PrEP Navigation Services assists youth and adults to know their HIV status through HIV testing and, linkage to medical care or to Pre-Exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is a once-a-day pill or bimonthly injection that HIV negative individuals can take (through medical prescription) to prevent HIV infection. Individuals enrolled in PrEP Navigation services receive quality care by an infectious disease specialist and support by a PrEP Navigation specialist.

Medical Case Management

This program offers comprehensive medical case management services for women, infants, children and youth affected by HIV through coordination of medical services through psychosocial assessments, client-centered treatment plans and a seamless system of referral to other medical specialties and to community resources.

The Health Interactive Project (HIP)

The Health Interactive Project (HIP) is an interactive prevention education project designed to increase awareness of (unhealthy) behaviors that may pose youth at risk of: HIV, STIs, teen pregnancy, bullying, substance use, intimate partner violence, texting & driving, among other risky behaviors. HIP reinforces and complements HIV and STD educational activities provided through health classes in public schools. HIP activities include educational sessions with hands-on activities and uses drama, humor, audience interaction, and improvisation in its interactive theater to inform and educate. HIP also provides one-on-one education and counseling sessions that include voluntary, confidential HIV screenings by trained professional staff.

Confidential Rapid HIV Screenings

Rapid HIV screenings are offered to anyone 13 years of age and older by a qualified trained counselor. All HIV screenings administered are confidential and include risk reduction, education and referral to medical care services or community resources. At home Self-HIV testing available.

SMART Recovery Group

SMART Recovery Youth Group is a science-based program that helps youth manage their recovery from addictive behaviors. The support groups offer a safe, and non-threatening supportive learning environment that fosters mutual aid and supports members’ psychosocial needs.

Peer to Peer Psychosocial Support Groups

These monthly peer-driven support groups are for adolescent females and adult women living with HIV interested in self-improvement, learning how to live a healthy lifestyle, making informed decisions about their physical and emotional health and in building a stronger and more effective support system. The Peer-to-Peer psychosocial groups are delivered in a fun, confidential and respectful environment where group participants can talk openly about the challenges of living with HIV/AIDS, share achievements and success stories.

The Child Health Clinic for Refugees and Immigrants

The Child Health Clinic for Refugee and Immigrant at Connecticut Children’s, Hartford, CT was established by Dr. Melissa Held in January 2018 to provide the initial medical evaluation and management for refugee children up to age 18 years. Our doctors and staff will review available medical records, interview the families, and assess for any potential infectious diseases, ongoing or new health issues, and provide appropriate initial referrals to other specialists. We will also help establish ongoing care with a primary care provider that is convenient for the family.

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