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July 19, 2011

Session dedicated to adolescent health at IAS Conference, Rome

Session dedicated to adolescent health at IAS Conference, Rome

With infections among children and youth accounting for half of all new infections annually, the IAS held one of its first sessions devoted to care and prevention among adolescents. Dr. Audrey Pettifor reviewed the epidemiology of infection among youth - one third of new infections are due to perinatal transmission with more and more of these children surviving to adolescence. The remaining two thirds of HIV+ youth are behaviorally infected and account for almost a million infections annually or more than 2500 a day. Dr. Pettifor then reviewed the impact of a wide range of preventive interventions ranging from behavioral- mass media, condom promotion, groups, peer support and school based interventions to biomedical interventions such as PREP, microbicides, male circumcision and treatment as prevention and concluded with her work in South Africa on a structural interventions using cash transfers to help young girls remain in school which decreases their risk of acquiring HIV. Dr. Donna Futterman reviewed the basic principles of youth friendly care highlighting similarities and differences in developed and developing countries. She stressed the importance of knowledgeable, non-judgmental providers; integrated, one-stop shop care which incorporates: mental health care and support, HIV care and follow up, integration of sexual and reproductive health care and prevention with postives. A discussion with representatives from WHO, UNICEF, and providers from South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and India touched on cross cutting themes such as disclosure to perinataly infected youth, disclosure from youth to friends, partners and family, the importance of youth targeted counseling and testing, addressing consent and confidentiality and transitioning youth from pediatric to adult care. The session closed with a commitment to addressing youth issues in future IAS meetings.

Reference: Raghavan SS, Cowan F, Pettifor A, Baggaley R, Bekker L, Futterman D, Haamujompa C, Luo C, Tinyebwa, D. Transition from Childhood to Adolescence [Oral Presentations and Discussions]. Presented July 19, 2011 at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, Rome, Italy. Session TUBS01.

Source: Reporting for PRN news from Rome, Italy: Anita Radix, MD