Sunday, September 22, 2019
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Adolescent Services Unit

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Adolescent Services Unit

Unit Head
Grace Adamu


IHVN Adolescent services

An increasing number of children who acquired HIV perinatally are now reaching adolescence. Adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) are a special group of PLHIVs targeted by IHVN for the provision of customized services that are tailored to meet their specific challenges and needs. Adolescence is a developmental phase between childhood (under 10 years) and adulthood (over 19 years) characterized by physical, psychological, and social changes at the individual level (WHO 2010). Within this timeframe, there is a wide range of developmental stages. Adolescents whether behaviorally or perinatally infected require innovative public health strategies that respond to their unique developmental and health needs for a successful engagement in lifelong HIV care and treatment.

IHVN Objectives for Adolescent Services are:

  • Provide Adolescent & Youth friendly Health (AYFHS) services that embed confidentiality, respectful treatment, integrated services, culturally appropriate care and ensures easy non-stigmatizing access for the Adolescents
  • Facilitate ease of disclosure of HIV status between care givers/parents and adolescent
  • Promote medication adherence and improve retention in care
  • Mobilize and support health care providers to deliver adolescent and youth friendly services that meets the specific needs of adolescents
  • Establish adolescent caregiver forum for improved interaction with the adolescents for better retention in care

IHVN Implementation Strategies

  • Conduct advocacy to the facilities’ management to gain their support for AYFHS
  • Conduct Focus Group Discussion (FGD) with selected adolescents, caregivers and health care workers to identify specific needs for proper planning of the required services
  • Utilize a South-South collaborative approach with AFRICAIDS Zvandiri Teens support Network Zimbabwe and APYIN Nigeria for start-up of AYFHS at sites
  • Conduct capacity building for Peer Educators(PE), Care Givers(CG) and Health Care Workers(HCW) for better engagement and improved service delivery
  • Field education mentoring and role modeling for peer educators and mentors
  • Identification of mentors by APYIN
  • Formation of support groups and caregivers forum
  • Conduct of transition sessions in batches that address the phases of transition from Pediatric-to-Adolescents and Adolescents-to-Adult clinics
  • Strengthen Linkages to community based organizations for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) care and other wrap-around services in the community
  • Creation of flexible clinic hours and weekend clinics to meet the off-hour appointment schedule for the adolescents
  • Creation of dedicated hotlines in addition to WhatsApp platform group to provide avenues for socialization and recreation for the Adolescents

These services are provided to the two groups’ of early adolescence (10 to 14 years) and late adolescence (15 to 19 years). The multidisciplinary team utilizes a holistic approach to provide primary, reproductive and sexual health care, STI/HIV testing and treatment, substance abuse treatment, mental health care, and health education/counseling in a one-stop-shop.

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