Health Care Experiences of Youth Living With HIV Who Were Lost to Follow-up in Western Kenya


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Abstract

HIV is the leading cause of mortality for youth in sub-Saharan Africa. Youth are more likely than any other age group to be lost to follow-up (LTFU) from care. We investigated the health care–related experiences of youth living with HIV (YLWH) who were LTFU (i.e., had not returned to care for at least 4 months), as well as the perceptions of the community health workers who supported them. Data were collected from two focus group discussions with community health workers (n = 18) who worked with YLWH and 27 semistructured interviews with YLWH (ages 15–21 years) who were LTFU. Attitudes toward health care were presented in the context of a social–ecological model. Respondents highlighted the need for improved youth-oriented services, including youth-friendly clinics and training for care providers about specific needs of YLWH. Researchers should develop and test the impact of these interventions to improve retention of YLWH in care.

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