Adolescents and young adults, aged 13–24 years, are disproportionately affected by HIV in the United States. Youth with HIV (YHIV) face many psychosocial and structural challenges resulting in poor clinical outcomes including lower rates of medication adherence and higher rates of uncontrolled HIV. The Johns Hopkins Intensive Primary Care clinic, a longstanding HIV care program in Baltimore, Maryland, cares for 76 YHIV (aged 13–24 years). The multidisciplinary team provides accessible, evidenced-based, culturally sensitive, coordinated and comprehensive patient and family-centered HIV primary care. However, the ability to provide these intensive, in-person services was abruptly disrupted by the necessary institutional, state, and national coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mitigation strategies. As most of our YHIV are from marginalized communities (racial/ethnic, sexual, and gender minorities) with existing health and social inequities that impede successful clinical outcomes and increase HIV disparities, there was heightened concern that COVID-19 would exacerbate these inequities and amplify the known HIV disparities. We chronicle the structural and logistic approaches that our team has taken to proactively address the social determinants of health that will be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, while supporting YHIV to maintain medication adherence and viral suppression.
- Health inequities
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health