KidsMD Health Topics

At-risk youth

  • Overview

    Many adolescents are healthy, but some may be at an increased risk for becoming pregnant, acquiring a sexually transmitted disease (STD), abusing substances or developing an eating disorder.

    Boston Children's Hospital's Adolescent/Young Adult Medical Practice serves adolescents and young adults that are at an increased risk for developing health-related problems. In particular, the Boston HAPPENS (HIV Adolescent Provider and Peer Education Network for Services) program serves HIV-positive youth and youth at high risk for acquiring HIV infection.

    • Homeless youth and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth are at increased risk for acquiring HIV infection.
    • Comprehensive care is necessary for HIV-positive youth and youth at high risk for HIV infection, due to all of the medical and psychosocial issues associated with HIV infection.
    •  Sexuality and homelessness risk

      A Children’s Hospital Boston led study of more than 6,300 Massachusetts public high school students found that 15 percent of bisexual teens are homeless, 25 percent of lesbian or gay teens are homeless and only 3 percent of heterosexual teens are homeless. This may suggest that some lesbian, gay and bisexual teens could lack support from their families.  Learn more about this study, and resources available to GLB teens in the Children’s newsroom.

    Children and adolescents at-risk of developing or who have developed substance abuse problems can be treated in the ASAP Program at Children's.

    Boston Children's Hospital 
    300 Longwood Avenue, Fegan 10
    Boston MA 02115


    The Boston HAPPENS Program strives to connect homeless youth and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth who are at increased risk for acquiring HIV infection to needed social and medical services in a confidential care setting.

    Boston Children's Hospital
    333 Longwood Avenue, 5th floor
    300 Longwood Ave, LO-306 (mailing)
    Boston MA 02115

     fax: 617-730-0195

    Children's AIDs Program provides comprehensive treatment and care for HIV-positive children and adolescents.

    South Shore Hospital
    55 Fogg Road
    Suite 650
    Weymouth MA 02190
     fax: 617-730-0911
  • In depth text

  • Your Story

    Taking a stand against violence

    Boston's inner-city violence epidemic is all too familiar to Jacqueline Rue, case manager for Boston Healthy Start Initiative at Martha Eliot Health Center (MEHC). For the past six years, Rue has helped struggling mothers overcome the complex challenges involved with physical and mental violence, as well as with housing, hunger and substance abuse. "Many of these mothers have had chaos in their lives," she says of the dozens of Boston women enrolled in the program. "Violence is everywhere." In fact, according to a recent report conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, two-thirds of Boston high school students said they'd witnessed violence in the past year.

    Read more:

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