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The Boys Initiative Announces Upcoming Launch of the Partnership for Male Youth

Launch Will Coincide With Release of Clinical Practice Toolkit for Adolescent and Young Adult Males

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - January 08, 2014) - On January 22 The Boys Initiative will launch The Partnership for Male Youth and the first initiative of the Partnership, Promoting Health for AYA Males, a project to promote adolescent and young adult (AYA) male health by providing a clinical practice toolkit for health care providers as well as tools to engage AYA males in their own health care. Further detail on the webinar will be forthcoming.

The clinical practice toolkit, Health Provider Toolkit for Adolescent and Young Adult Males, has been over a year in development. It is a web-based, interactive resource for health care providers, parents and AYA males. It is a dynamic platform, continually updated as new scientific literature is published and as suggestions for improvement are made by health care providers, parents, AYA males and others. It contains tools, methods and reference materials for screening and assessment of risk among male patients aged 10 through 26 in nine major areas; healthy eating and physical activity, sexual and reproductive health, trauma, substance use disorders, mental health, developmental disorders, sexual biologic basics, normal pubertal concerns and genital abnormalities and tests and immunizations.

The project is a groundbreaking effort that has engaged a broad range of health related organizations and professionals in its development and dissemination. Its foundation is based on interviews with over 100 medical experts and an extensive literature search.

The need for the Partnership and the clinical toolkit is evidenced by the fact that from the time they leave their pediatrician's care to well into their adulthood, males do not typically interact with the health care system in any comprehensive and sustained way. 

Yet, AYA males are at higher risk than their female contemporaries for suicide completion, ADHD diagnosis, substance abuse, homicide, risky behaviors, accidental injury and certain STIs, among other conditions. While their female contemporaries typically seek health care for purposes of pregnancy prevention and gynecologic care, AYA males do not typically seek out care, nor are primary health care providers who may interact with them knowledgeable about the risk factors that AYA males face. 

"Besides the fact that certain conditions occur at greater rates among male adolescents than among female adolescents, the health care needs of male and female adolescents can be very different. Our goal is to identify where there are differences, and to provide clinicians and AYA males themselves with the tools to insure that the lives of AYA males are healthy and long," said Dennis Barbour, Co-Founder of The Boys Initiative. 

It is a fact that that a male's life expectancy is less than a female's. Since health habits are set early in life, the best way to address that disparity is by insuring that AYA males are provided access to better health care, and that they seek it out. This is a dual challenge -- to identify the care that AYA males need, and to enlist AYA males themselves in seeking care and adopting health habits that will insure a quality lifespan. 

"Based on the overwhelming support we have received for the project, I believe that the Partnership is ready to take on that challenge," said Barbour. "We are on the cusp of a very exciting time for the advancement of AYA male health, and we believe that through this project we can make a substantial contribution to that effort."

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