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Brooklyn Bridge

Our Journey

Born out of a pressing need in 1992, the Health and Education Alternatives for Teens (HEAT) Program has since been a beacon of hope, providing comprehensive healthcare and support services to HIV+ and at-risk youth aged between 13 and 29.

HEAT's mission is deeply rooted in the pursuit of health equity. Our culturally competent, developmentally appropriate HIV care embraces all youth - irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or ethnic background. We are proud to serve heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Black, and Latino youth with equal compassion and dedication.

As part of the SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University community, HEAT operates from the University Hospital at Downstate, situated in one of the areas with the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in not only New York City but also the nation. This strategic location enables us to reach those who need us most.

Our full-service clinic embodies the concept of "one-stop shopping," where every aspect of HIV care is provided under one roof by a dedicated interdisciplinary team. This approach effectively eliminates the obstacles that often prevent youth from accessing healthcare.

At HEAT, we believe in empowering our clients. Our youth-centered model places the young individual firmly at the heart of their care. We involve them in every decision about their treatment, fostering a sense of ownership and active participation in their healthcare journey.

Together, we're creating a future where every young individual, regardless of their circumstances, has the right to quality healthcare and a chance at a healthy life. With HEAT, they're not just patients—they're partners in their own healthcare journey.

Our Mission

Our Mission

  • To provide exemplary medical, mental health, case management, transitional, social support services, counseling/testing services to HIV infected and at-risk youth aged 13-24.  Additionally, HEAT will remain committed to providing care for HIV infected children below the age of thirteen and HIV-exposed infants.

  • We will maintain our efforts in identifying undiagnosed youth with HIV; link and retain them in care and treatment; and facilitate access to PrEP and PEP services that promote engagement and retention in care.

  • To extend care to heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming youth in an age appropriate, culturally competent, and confidential manner.

  • Owing to the general lack of transgender youth services, HEAT will provide transgender youth with counseling, advocacy and access to safe, patient-focused transgender care in accordance with scientifically established principles of treatment and best standards of care.

  • Set in a youth-friendly, discrete and easily accessible venue at the University Hospital of Brooklyn, HEAT operates a “one-stop” full service clinic, offering a full range of medical, mental health and supportive services tailored to meet the specialized health care needs of young people.

  • To heighten awareness about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in adolescents through our Community Outreach program and to link youth to HEAT services.

  • To maintain a leadership role in strengthening the network of local youth-oriented providers in the New York Metropolitan area.


Our Vision

Our vision is a world where every young person has access to quality health care and the support they need to thrive. We believe that by working together, we can create a brighter future for all young people.

Help us empower young people - donate to HEAT today!

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