Webinar: Addressing the Needs of Adolescents Living with HIV

PEPFAR, in collaboration with AIDSTAR-One, is presenting a series of webinars targeting program planners and policy makers interested in improving services for adolescents living with HIV through use of tools supported by PEPFAR and USAID’s Africa Bureau.

The first discussion took place Monday, November 4th at 8 AM EST on the AIDSTAR-One Technical Brief:Transitioning of Care and Other Services for Adolescents Living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa. This webinar provided information that summarizes the existing evidence on the clinical and social needs of adolescents living with HIV as they transition to adulthood. Many perinatally infected adolescents do not know their HIV status, and are more likely to be in advanced stages of disease with multiple comorbid health and psychosocial complications as compared to their behaviorally infected peers. Many health and community support systems are not equipped to address the health, psychological, and social needs of perinatally infected children moving into adolescence and adulthood. However, evidence in research and practice point to the use of stronger social support mechanisms (peer, familial/caregiver), stronger linkages between community and facility based services, and having clear individualized transition plan which takes into consideration the local context and available resources.

This webinar presented the latest information from the technical brief on the unique needs of ALHIV in sub-Saharan Africa during the transition to adulthood. Evidence for the Technical Brief was gathered via a comprehensive literature review and interviews with key informants with multiple key needs emerging. Issues such as stigma; psycho-social support; sexual and reproductive health; beneficial disclosure; grief, loss, and bereavement; mental health; and adherence will be discussed. Lessons learned and a promising practice model for transition were reviewed. During the discussion, participants were encouraged to share additional practices and experiences.

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