The adolescent with HIV infection
- Susan L Gillespie, MD, PhD
Susan L Gillespie, MD, PhD
- Associate Professor of Pediatrics
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Section Editors
- Mary E Paul, MD
Mary E Paul, MD
- Section Editor — Pediatric HIV Infection
- Associate Professor of Pediatrics
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Diane Blake, MD
Diane Blake, MD
- Section Editor — Adolescent Medicine
- Associate Professor of Pediatrics
- University of Massachusetts Medical School
Exposure to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can be a consequence of many of the risk-taking behaviors that occur among adolescents. Efforts to improve adolescent health through access to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention education must take into account the developmental level of the patient, as well as social and psychological variables.
Issues surrounding HIV infections vary widely between adolescents in developing countries and those in the developed world. This topic will principally review, within the developed world, the epidemiology of and risk factors for HIV infection among adolescents, strategies to provide services to adolescents, and age-specific recommendations for initiating treatment. The epidemiology, natural history, and classification of pediatric HIV infection are discussed separately. (See "Epidemiology of pediatric HIV infection" and "Natural history and classification of pediatric HIV infection".)
There are unique challenges to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of HIV infection among adolescents. A comprehensive program for adolescents at risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection must include efforts at preventing infection (such as outreach programs), easily accessible testing, and counseling. Programs that have been successful are peer oriented and target specific high-risk behaviors [1,2].
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidelines for HIV counseling, testing, and referral . Specific issues that should be addressed with adolescents include the following:
●Reason for testing – The adolescent who has recently engaged in a high-risk activity must understand the importance of retesting in six months. Some teens have already had a positive test and are seeking confirmation.
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- Storm DS, Boland MG, Gortmaker SL, et al. Protease inhibitor combination therapy, severity of illness, and quality of life among children with perinatally acquired HIV-1 infection. Pediatrics 2005; 115:e173.
- Lee CL, Johann-Liang R. Disclosure of the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS to children born of HIV-infected mothers. AIDS Patient Care STDS 1999; 13:41.
- Butler AM, Williams PL, Howland LC, et al. Impact of disclosure of HIV infection on health-related quality of life among children and adolescents with HIV infection. Pediatrics 2009; 123:935.
- Mellins CA, Smith R, O'Driscoll P, et al. High rates of behavioral problems in perinatally HIV-infected children are not linked to HIV disease. Pediatrics 2003; 111:384.
- Tassiopoulos K, Moscicki AB, Mellins C, et al. Sexual risk behavior among youth with perinatal HIV infection in the United States: predictors and implications for intervention development. Clin Infect Dis 2013; 56:283.
- DiClemente RJ, Wingood GM, Harrington KF, et al. Efficacy of an HIV prevention intervention for African American adolescent girls: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2004; 292:171.
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- RISK FACTORS
- COUNSELING AND TESTING
- Pre-test counseling
- - Reason for testing
- - Comorbidities and resources
- - Privacy
- - Prevention
- Post-test counseling
- EVALUATION OF THE HIV-POSITIVE ADOLESCENT
- Psychosocial evaluation
- Physical examination and laboratory testing
- Increasing compliance and general counseling
- Antiretroviral therapy
- - Medication dosing
- Condom use
- VERTICALLY INFECTED ADOLESCENTS
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS