Addressing the Socio-Development Needs of Adolescents Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria: A Call for Action

Morenike O. Folayan, Morolake Odetoyinbo, Brandon Brown, Abigail Harrison

Abstract

The widespread use of antiretroviral therapy and remarkable success in the treatment of paediatric HIV infection has changed the face of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) epidemic in children from a fatal disease to that of a chronic illness. Many children living with HIV are surviving into adolescence. This sub-population of people living with HIV is emerging as a public health challenge and burden in terms of healthcare management and service utilization than previously anticipated. This article provides an overview of the socio-developmental challenges facing adolescents living with HIV especially in a resource-limited setting like Nigeria. These include concerns about their healthy sexuality, safer sex and transition to adulthood, disclosure of their status and potential stigma, challenges faced with daily living, access and adherence to treatment, access to care and support, and clinic transition.  Other issues include reality of death and implications for fertility intentions, mental health concerns and neurocognitive development. Coping strategies and needed support for adolescents living with HIV are also discussed, and the implications for policy formulation and programme design and implementation in Nigeria are highlighted. (Afr J Reprod Health 2014; 18[3]: 93-101)

                  

Keywords: Nigeria, Adolescents living with HIV, socio-development, research

 

Résumé 

L'utilisation généralisée de la thérapie antirétrovirale et des succès remarquables dans le traitement de l'infection du VIH chez les enfants a changé le visage de l'épidémie du  virus d'immunodéficience humaine (VIH) chez les enfants d'une maladie mortelle à celui d’une maladie chronique. Beaucoup d'enfants vivant avec le VIH survivent à l'adolescence. Cette sous-population de personnes vivant avec le VIH est en train de devenir un problème de santé publique et de la charge en termes de gestion des soins de santé et l'utilisation des services que prévu avant. Cet article donne un aperçu des défis du développement social auxquels sont confrontés les adolescents vivant avec le VIH en particulier dans un contexte de ressources limitées comme le Nigeria. Il s'agit notamment des préoccupations concernant leur santé sexuelle, les rapports sexuels protégés et le passage à l'âge adulte, la divulgation de leur statut et de la stigmatisation potentielle, les défis rencontrés dans la vie quotidienne, l'accès au traitement et l'observance du traitement, l'accès aux soins et au soutien, et la transition de la clinique. D'autres questions comprennent la réalité de la mort et des implications pour les intentions de la fécondité, des problèmes de santé mentale et le développement neurocognitif. Les stratégies d'adaptation et le soutien nécessaire pour les adolescents vivant avec le VIH sont également discutés, et les implications pour la formulation des politiques et de la conception des programmes et la mise en œuvre au Nigeria sont mis en évidence. (Afr J Reprod Health 2014; 18[3]: 93-101)

 

Mots-clés: Nigeria, les adolescents vivant avec le VIH, socio-développement, la recherche

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References

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