Special Considerations: Pediatric to Adolescent Care Transitions
Transitioning from Pediatric to Adolescent Care
As children living with perinatally acquired HIV survive into adolescence, medical providers, youth, their families, and various systems of care face several challenges in properly transitioning children from pediatric to adolescent care systems. Because transition to an adolescent program is not always possible, pediatric providers should anticipate their pediatric patients' transition to adolescence and how they will provide for an adolescent patient's needs until they are ready to transition into an adult setting. Among the issues that are important to address when patients transition from pediatric to adolescent or adult care are disclosure of HIV infection to the patient, the family's health, the developmental challenges of adolescence, parents' fears of behaviorally infected HIV patients, patients' readiness for higher education and their confidentiality concerns, and perhaps most importantly, addressing the patient's emerging sexuality.