Improving Health Services for Adolescents Living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Multi-Country Assessment

Edward D. Pettitt, Rena C. Greifinger, B. Ryan Phelps, Sara J. Bowsky

Abstract

In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the aging of HIV-positive pediatric cohorts and growing numbers of adolescents on treatment, coupled with high HIV incidence in this age group, means the number of adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) will continue to grow. The clinical, psychological, social, and reproductive health needs of ALHIV remain poorly understood and efforts to mobilize and advocate for their treatment, care, and support have been inadequate. A multi-country assessment of the needs of ALHIV in SSA found that comprehensive, adolescent-friendly services that champion peer support and collaboration between health care organizations can foster successful transitions into adulthood for ALHIV. (Afr J Reprod Health 2013 (Special Edition); 17[4]: 17-31).

 

Keywords: adolescents, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, youth friendly, peer support, sub-Saharan Africa

 

Résumé

 

En Afrique sub-saharienne (ASS), le vieillissement des cohortes pédiatriques du VIH-positives et le nombre croissant d'adolescents en traitement, y compris une incidence élevée du VIH dans ce groupe d'âge, signifie que le nombre d'adolescents vivant avec le VIH (AVVIH) va continuer à croître. Les besoins cliniques, psychologiques, sociaux et de santé de la reproduction chez des AVVIH  restent mal compris et les efforts pour mobiliser et plaidoyer pour  leur traitement, leurs soins et leur soutien ont été insuffisants. Une évaluation à travers plusieurs pays des besoins des AVVIH en Afrique subsaharienne a révélé que des services complets et adaptés aux besoins des adolescents qui luttent en faveur du soutien par les pairs ainsi que la collaboration entre les organismes de soins de santé peuvent favoriser la réussite des transitions vers l'âge adulte pour les AVVIH. Afr J Reprod Health 2013 (Special Edition); 17[4]: 17-31).  

 

Mots-clés: adolescents, VIH/sida, santé de la reproduction, adapté aux besoins de la jeunesse, soutien par les pairs, Afrique subsaharienne

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