This qualitative pilot study explored key issues associated with the transition to adolescence and adulthood for children living with HIV in NSW, and the implications of these for health, HIV prevention and clinical care in NSW. No published research existed on this population in Australia prior to this study. Gathering in-depth information both from young people with HIV in NSW and from clinicians who provide direct care to this population in NSW and in other states provided timely insights regarding this emerging group within the HIV epidemic in NSW, particularly challenges and needs that affect their continued engagement with treatment and other forms of HIV care during a time of life that typically features considerable change. While this is a relatively small population, they are important in terms of priorities for both HIV prevention and the delivery of care. A key focus of the research was understanding how to best support the transition of HIV-positive children and young people to adolescence and adulthood, including negotiating the move from paediatric to adult HIV care services, and strengthening their skills and capacities in sexual practice and other dimensions of adult life. The study was conducted by CSRH in collaboration with the Paediatric HIV Service at Sydney Children’s Hospital and was partly funded by a Gilead Fellowship 2013. The study was conducted 2012 and 2015, and five publications produced.
Gilead Science, Australian Government Department of Health