HIV-positive young people face a unique combination of issues related to their age and HIV status. Most HIV efforts targeting youth are based in education and screening, discounting those who already have an HIV-positive diagnosis. In addition, clinical services are comprehensive, but limited in range. Medical care alone does not address integral familial, social, community, and personal issues. Social support, access to community and treatment, and developmental issues are complicated by: HIV transmission route (e.g. perinatal or behavioral); time since diagnosis; family medical and social histories; geographic location; age and other demographics.
NAPWA began the Positive Youth Institute in an effort to train HIV-positive young people from across the country in the life skills required for good health. The workshops run the gamut of social and medical issues, and have included: public presentation; resume building; media spokesperson issues; creative arts; medical care and treatment, and body image. Workshops are taught by professionals in their respective fields.