Introduction Recently, the number of adolescents infected with HIV has been increasing worldwide, but there is still little information available on the characteristics of this population. The aim of this study is to compare the characteristics of adolescents living with HIV attending a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Referral Centre according to the modes of transmission.
Methods A cross-sectional study evaluating adolescents between 10 and 19 years of age, carried out from January to August 2012, at the state STI reference centre in Bahia, Brazil. Sociodemographic and clinical data were obtained by reviewing charts and analysed through SPSS 20.0.
Results A total of 123 adolescents living with HIV were attended during the study period, 76.3% (90/118) of them acquired the virus through vertical transmission (VT), whereas 22.9% (27/118) acquired via sexual transmission (ST). Regarding the adolescents with VT, the group was younger than the ST, with 93.7%<16 years old (p<0.01, OR 20.35, 95% CI 6.70–61.83); 78.9% attended school (p<0.01, OR 0.15, 95% CI 0.04–0.61), 62.1% did not work (p=0.02), 55.2% denied use of alcohol (p<0.01, OR 0.07, 95% CI 0.01–0.65), and 98.7% also denied sexual debut (p<0.01, OR <0.01, 95% CI 0.00–0.03). On the other hand, patients with a ST infection started their sexual life earlier, with a mean age of 12.9 (±3.74) years, 93.8% of them had had previous gestation (p<0.01, OR 27.5, 95% CI 2.89–262.3), 75.0% had HPV co-infection (p<0.01, OR 11.5, 95% CI 2.03–64.78) and 88.9% had another STI in the period (p<0.01, OR 45.71, 95% CI 5.30–394.42). The VT group showed rates of 93,5% of AIDS diagnosis (p<0.01, OR 72., 95% CI 16.41–315.98) and 100% (p=0.01) had had opportunistic infections; 93,1% performed genotyping (p=0.02, OR 5.87, 95% CI 1.27–27.09) and 85.4% used ART (p<0.01, OR 8.54, 95% CI 2.72–26.85).
Conclusion We observed two distinct groups, defined according to the modes of transmission, both showing specific characteristics. Thus, is it evident the need of customise the health care and promotion according to each group.
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