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J Adolesc Health. 2003 Aug;33(2 Suppl):23-30.

Transitioning youths into care: linking identified HIV-infected youth at outreach sites in the community to hospital-based clinics and or community-based health centers.

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1
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Stroger Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To describe and analyze the process of transitioning HIV-infected youths from the point of HIV diagnosis into HIV treatment. Rather than simply offering HIV positive youths a list of referrals, the youth-focused SPNS grantees (AWAC) found it vital that youths were immediately assisted with linkage to a medical provider.

METHODS:

From February 1997 to December 2000, 107 identified HIV-infected youths from the five adolescent SPNS projects were surveyed on needs and barriers. The time interval between HIV testing and youth linkage to care was also noted.

RESULTS:

Nine percent of youth reported perceived barriers to accessing health care. Perceived needs were identified as Mental Health (44.9%; n = 48); Alcohol and drug treatment (14%; n = 15); transportation to health care settings (40.2%; n = 43); and housing (46.7%; N = 50). At sites tracking linkage to care, the time of being transitioned into a medical setting ranged from 5 to 55 days (average 26 days).

CONCLUSIONS:

The period of transitioning identified HIV-infected youths into care can be reduced from 1-5 years to as short as 5-55 days. Success with linking these youth to care involves establishing a series of contacts at outreach sites wherein program staff seeks to build trusting relationships with youths, is able to track these youths and identify and address perceived needs.

PMID:
12888284
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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