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P390 Improving the uptake of HIV-centered preventative and treatment services by adolescents
  1. Chantal Smith
  1. MaCH, Health Systems Strengthening, Durban, South Africa


Background There is approximately 6.3million people living with HIV in South Africa with nearly a third of all new HIV infections occurring in 15–24 year olds with adolescent girls being up to eight times more likely to be infected with HIV than their male counterparts. In addition, 52 percent of all sexually active young people who reside in rural areas have reported having never used condoms with their most recent partners.

Methods At facility-level, MatCH deployed a roving clinical team, consisting of clinical and a psychosocial advisors, who provided the following: (a) onsite training and mentoring of healthcare workers on the delivery of adolescent friendly services, (b) identification of healthcare workers as Adolescent Champions, (c) developing dedicated consultation rooms for adolescents to seek clinical and psychosocial support and to be fast-tracked for immediate management. At patient-level, MatCH designed an HIV/STI preventative package of care inclusive of: HIV testing services, behavioural risk assessments, PrEP initiation for at-risk HIV-negative adolescents, STI, gender-based violence and TB screening and management, same-day ART initiation for HIV-positive adolescents and ongoing psychosocial support via one-on-one adherence counselling and linking to peer-led support groups.

Results Comparative review of 8-month data, revealed a 70% increase in the number of adolescents accessing HIV testing services at PHC facilities. Of those who tested HIV-positive, linkage to care improved by 98% as compared to the baseline of 63%. 90% uptake of PrEP by at-risk HIV negative females aged 15–19years as compared to the 10% uptake seen amongst their male counterparts within the same age group. Improved healthcare worker confidence in (a) managing at-risk HIV negative adolescents, (b) initiating HIV positive onto ART and (c) delivering comprehensive package of HIV-centered adolescent friendly services.

Conclusion The provision of adolescent-friendlyservices at primary healthcare facilities is essential to improving the uptake of HIV-centered prevention and treatment strategies by at-risk adolescents.

Disclosure No significant relationships.

  • youth
  • health services
  • South Africa

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