Barcelona 2013
Barcelona 2013
Abstract book - Abstract - 354
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Abstract #354  -  E-Posters English
  50.71: E-Posters English (Poster) on Sunday   in  Chaired by
  Presenting Author:   dr tomas campbell - East London Foundation Trust, United Kingdom
  Additional Authors:  Dr. Jordi Casabona, Sra Cristina Sanclemente, Dra. Anna  Esteve, Dra. Victoria Gonzalez, Grupo HIVITS TS,  
Recent research has identified a high prevalence of mental health difficulties amongst HIV+ young people attending HIV treatment centres in the UK. Identified difficulties identified ranged from major depressive disorder to self-harm and harm to others. This study aimed to examine and describe the range and type of psychological, relational and behavioural difficulties in a cohort of young people attending transition or adult clinical services in London.
Method / Issue:
A proforma was developed and case notes of eligible participants were retrospectively examined. Inclusion criteria were: vertically infected with HIV; aged ¡Ý16 years; previously cared for in a paediatric setting; now attending either a transition or adult HIV clinic. Notes were examined for evidence of difficulties in 3 domains: psychological (low mood/depression, anxiety, psychosis), behavioural (adherence to HIV medication, school attendance and anti-social behaviours) and relational (relationships with care givers/others). Current CD4 and Viral Loads will be reported.
Results / Comments:
28/44 individuals fulfilled inclusion criteria. Mean age was 19 years (range 16-22). 27/28 were of Black African ethnicity. Mean age at HIV diagnosis was 5.7 years (range 1-13 years). 21% had a learning difficulty (6/28) and 18% (5/28) had HIV-related physical difficulty/disability. 53% had psychological difficulties (15/28); 39% had low mood/depression (11/28). 46% had relational difficulties which were characterised by poor relationships (often neglectful) with care givers (13/28). Behaviourally, 100% have had periods of poor/inconsistent adherence to HIV medication; 6/28 (21%) were known to have been involved in criminal behaviours (stealing, knife crime); 5/28 (18%) were involved in gangs. 14% (4/28) were known to have engaged in unprotected sex; 14% (4/28) were in relationships that made them vulnerable to sexual exploitation and 2 (7%) young women became pregnant (although one pregnancy was planned). 25% (7/28) had low academic achievement and 14% (4/28) had poor school attendance.
This is a small cohort and data should be interpreted cautiously. It is likely that rates of unprotected sexual activity are under-reported. These data provide further evidence of high rates of psychological difficulties amongst HIV+ young people. Low mood, poor adherence to medication and relational difficulties require vigilance and early intervention to minimise impact on effective HIV management. However, in the context where many young people had pre-existing difficulties and a high number had poor care-giver relationships there appear to be some domains of resilience e.g. 75% are performing at average level at school. Psychological and emotional difficulties may also affect behaviour and this urban cohort may be especially vulnerable to involvement in risky or anti-social behaviours.
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