Project ACCEPT

  • Priority Population
    Youth ages 16 to 24 with HIV
  • Setting
    HIV Specialty Clinic
  • Locations
    Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Memphis, TN; Miami, FL
  • Intervention Focus
  • Study Period
    1 year


Project Adolescents Coping, Connecting, Empowering, and Protecting Together (ACCEPT) was developed for cisgender youth ages 16 to 24 with HIV. Using a peer-facilitated, information- and skills-building framework, the intervention leverages both individual and group sessions to address issues that influence youth engagement in HIV care, including stigma, disclosure, healthy relationships, substance use, and future life planning.

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Download the Intervention Summary

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Intervention Outcomes

The intervention group had a 2.33 greater likelihood of HIV medication usage than the control group, which was sustained 12 months post-intervention.
The intervention group had increased appointment adherence, visit constancy, and overall medical visits compared to the control group.
Clients were more likely to have a declining viral load over time.

Intervention Components

  1. Define Intervention Population and Data Measures
  2. Secure Stakeholder Buy-In
  3. Assess Staff Resources and Gaps
  4. Engage Youth-Centered Community Service Partners
  5. Assess Local Laws and Regulations
  6. Recruit Peer Facilitators, Counselors, and Social Workers
  7. Train Staff on Project ACCEPT Procedures and Facilitate Knowledge Exchange
  8. Recruit Youth with HIV
  9. Increase Youth Skills to Engage in HIV Medical Care and Social Support

Cost Analysis

The Project ACCEPT intervention cost analysis is not currently available. However, you can use the CIE Cost Calculator to create an estimate of the cost of implementing the intervention at your organization.

Challenges & Solutions

Challenge: Client reluctance to engage with health care providers
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Engage providers who have experience with youth and who competently communicate in a manner that reduces stigma and promotes empathy and compassion. Use peers as client-provider liaisons.

Challenge: Funding
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Engage organizational leadership in discussions around ways to repurpose existing funding to support specific intervention components or ways to collaborate with external partners to secure resources to implement and sustain Project ACCEPT.

Challenge: Non-inclusive training curricula and facilitator guides
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Tailor your training curricula and counseling sessions for gender-diverse youth and ensure that you offer inclusive services.


Predictors and profiles of antiretroviral therapy adherence among African American adolescents and young adult males living with HIV
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Project ACCEPT: Engaging newly diagnosed HIV+ youth in care. A multi-center study of the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions (ATN 108, Ver 1.0)
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Project ACCEPT: Evaluation of a group-based intervention to improve engagement in care for youth newly diagnosed with HIV
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An ecological model of stressors experienced by youth newly diagnosed with HIV
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Evaluating the acceptability and feasibility of Project ACCEPT: An intervention for youth newly diagnosed with HIV
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Effects of Pediatric Chronic Physical Disorders on Child and Family Adjustment
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Tips for Engaging Youth and Adolescents using an Intersectional Approach
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Tips for Implementing the Project ACCEPT Interventions to work with Adolescents and Young Adults with HIV
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Trauma-Informed Approaches Toolkit
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Project ACCEPT Intervention Manual
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Project ACCEPT Cisgender Male Participant Handbook
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Project ACCEPT Cisgender Female Participant Handbook
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ATN 108 Project ACCEPT: Engaging Newly Diagnosed HIV+ Youth in Care. Information for Data Requesters – Data Sharing and Possible Collaboration
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Talking Points: The Resource Guide for Facilitating Stigma Conversations
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Innovative Models of Care: Motivational Interviewing
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