Amanda Ely1 and Dr Amanda Williams2
1Children’s HIV Association (CHIVA) CEO, UK
2Chair of CHIVA, UK
Welcome to this issue of HIV Nursing for Spring 2020. CHIVA are delighted to have been asked to guest edit this issue featuring articles covering topics relating to young people living with HIV.
This issue contains six articles, and we would like to begin by thanking all the authors for their hard work that has gone into producing these varied and interesting articles, all exploring young people’s experiences, with the emphasis on understanding young people as a group distinct from children and adults with particular experiences and needs.
We hope that the articles included here will provide an interesting read and support your professional understanding of the needs and experiences of young people who have grown up living with HIV as they transition to adult-oriented care, and become your patients.
There is much to learn from their childhood experiences and appreciate how these may continue to shape their lives in adulthood.
Although in 2017 the UK reported to have met the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets for the cascade of care among adults aged ≥15 years, the outcomes among adolescents are poorer, highlighting the need for additional targeted support for this population [1,2]. Understanding the often complex issues for this group of young people who have grown up with HIV allows their needs to be better addressed during adolescence and transition to adult care.
Adolescence is often described as a time of turbulence with rapid biological and social changes, and can be associated with conflict with adults as young people seek greater autonomy and perhaps engage in risk-taking behaviours.
These associations can lead to professionals feeling uncertain about how to work with adolescents and unsure how to place them, too old to be children and too young to be adults?
While adolescents may be seeking greater understanding and clarity on their position in the world, adults are often seeking the same understanding of how to place them.
At the same time we have come to new understandings of adolescence as a critical phase in life for achieving human potential. Adolescence is characterised by dynamic brain development in which the interaction with the social environment shapes the capabilities an individual takes forward into adult life . Read more . . .