Journal of
AIDS and HIV Research

  • Abbreviation: J. AIDS HIV Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2359
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAHR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 273

Full Length Research Paper

Challenges of the care of HIV positive adolescents in Jos, Nigeria

Esther S. Yiltok1*, Vivian Yuwa3, Asabe Mshelia4, Helen Akhiwu2, Emeka U. Ejeliogu1, Augustine O. Ebonyi1, Patricia A. Agaba5, Oche Agbaji6 and Stephen Oguche1  
1Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Jos, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. 2Department of Paediatrics, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. 3Department of Nursing Services, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. 4HIV Counselling Unit, APIN Centre, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. 5Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Jos, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. 6Department of Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Jos, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria.  
Email: [email protected]

  •  Received: 08 August 2019
  •  Accepted: 14 October 2019
  •  Published: 30 November 2019

Abstract

The introduction of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) to children with perinatally acquired HIV has prolonged their lifespan to adolescence and beyond. These HIV positive adolescents on care face challenges as they undertake their treatment which this study aimed to determine. The study was a cross-sectional descriptive study of challenges faced by adolescents between the ages 10 and 19 years on routine follow up at the HIV Clinic of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) over a period of six months. Ethical approval was obtained from the Health Research Ethical Committee (HREC) of JUTH and permission was also obtained from the AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria (APIN) center JUTH.  Data obtained was entered into Epi Info version 7.2 and analyzed. Among the 147 subjects that were recruited, 56 (38%) were males, while females were 91(62%), M: F ratio of 1: 1.6. Of this, most were single (99%). Among the subjects, 81 (55%) were orphans, of which 53 (65%) were single orphan. Of the total patients studied, 68% lived with one or both parents, while 26% stayed with relatives and 5% lived in orphanages. Most were in school 137 (96%) and 85 (59%) were aware of their diagnosis. Discrimination was reported among 19 (13%) subjects by pupils/students, teachers, friends and/or family members, while 31 (21%) had thought of committing suicide. Among the subjects, 100 (70%) have considered stopping medication. HIV positive adolescents in our study suffer several challenges which include being orphans, discrimination and suicidal ideations. These challenges could interfere with retention in care and compliance with their antiretroviral drugs.

Key words: Adolescents, HIV, orphaned child, social discrimination, suicidal ideation.