Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of youth living with HIV who transitioned from pediatric to adult care. Methods: Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with 59 youth (mean age = 22 years) living with HIV about the transition experience, demographics, and health status. Results: Of youth who transitioned to adult care, immune function (CD4) trended downward, 45% found the transition more difficult than anticipated, and 32% could not find emotional support services. Youth identified the need for increased continuity of care, assistance with logistics, improved communication with providers and caregivers, and individualized management of their transition process. Conclusion: Without adequate preparation, the transition process can be compromised with potentially serious health consequences. Youth living with HIV seek adult providers that can provide developmentally appropriate transition interventions that address loss, disclosure, and sexual behavior along with medical needs.
- young adults
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology