The SPOT (Supporting Positive Opportunities with Teens) is a youth center that provides free services to youth between the ages of 13 and 24 years old, a group that has increased vulnerability for an HIV infection. The SPOT’s primary goal is to increase access to medical and behavioral health services for youth who have been disproportionately impacted by HIV, poverty, violence and discrimination. Examples of services include:
- sexual and reproductive health testing and treatment,
- mental health counseling and psychiatry,
- resource and referral assistance with employment, education, applying for benefits, housing, and pregnancy
The SPOT is centered around a positive youth development model which focuses on the strengths of each individual, providing support, and seeking to empower individuals to improve their lives and contribute to society. The SPOT serves a diverse community and strives to make the center a welcoming and safe space for all.
The SPOT and Project ARK are both programs of Washington University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics and partner to provide HIV prevention and support services to youth. This includes HIV/STI testing and treatment, PrEP services, and referrals to case management and mental health for youth and young adults.