Adolescents are developmentally at a difficult crossroad, which makes it challenging to attract and sustain adolescents’ focus on maintaining their health. Every effort must be made to engage and retain adolescents in care so they can improve and maintain their health for the long term.
The medical advances that have transformed HIV treatment into a manageable disease have yet to alter the stark reality for young people, particularly in low to middle-income countries, such as those in Sub-Saharan Africa, and young people within key populations. Even as AIDS-related mortality has decreased overall in recent years, AIDS-related deaths among adolescents increased by 50%. AIDS, in other words, is far from over - especially for young people.
At major meetings, advances in HIV management focuses mainly on either adults or children, leaving out this key group of individuals – the adolescents. To meet this need for international interchange in order to bring the field forward, we have initiated the International Workshop on HIV & Adolescence: challenges and solutions.
This workshop is set up as an inclusive summit for multidisciplinary experts working with adolescents affected by HIV. The objective will be to share experiences, knowledge and best practices with the aim of defining a pathway forward for optimizing care for adolescents living with HIV.
The program will cover the entire spectrum of developmental changes in adolescents including social, behavioral, physiological and biological aspects and the impact of an HIV positive status. Prevention programs, testing, treatment and support services among adolescents shall be discussed. The barriers encountered in delivering these services and ways to mitigate these barriers shall be key areas of discussion during the workshop.