New study to explore challenges for perinatally-infected adolescents

adolescent cohort study


Children infected with HIV right before or after birth are increasingly surviving into adolescence, yet these children are at increased risk of poor outcomes. There are several factors that contribute to this problem:

  • developmental challenges associated with the evolution from childhood to adulthood
  • long-term use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) that places them at risk for missing medication and building up viral resistance
  • potential increased risk of stopping medication, particularly when faced with transitions in how and where they receive care.

This Adolescent Cohort Evaluation (ACE) study will examine the HIV care engagement status, health status, and HIV care preferences among perinatally infected adolescents. The study will take place at three sites across western Kenya, including a FACES site in Lumumba. Approximately 175 adolescents enrolled in HIV care at Lumumba, half active in care and half lost to follow-up from care, will be recruited for the study. They will participate  in interviews and clinical assessment of their health status, including an in-depth look at the their characteristics, adherence patterns, experiences with stigma, mental health status, and other behavioral health characteristics to better understand and respond to this population’s needs.