Toolkit & Guide
Young people ages 13-24 have always known a world with HIV. Although ongoing scientific advances in prevention and treatment have cut the numbers of new infections substantially, young people remain disproportionately affected. 1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses in the US were among young people in this age group, and only half know their status. Young people also have low rates of HIV testing and are least likely to be connected to HIV care after testing positive.
Young people living with HIV are also less likely to remain in care or to have viral suppression. Young people living with HIV typically enter adult care by the age of 25. However, they often face a variety of barriers during and after the transition, which may include concerns about confidentiality, privacy, and trust in the adult setting.
Fortunately, mentorship is recognized as an effective strategy to support young people living with HIV in building the self-management skills needed to successfully transition from pediatric to adult care, the point at which they are most likely to fall out of care.
Advocates for Youth has partnered with young people living with HIV, pediatric and adult care providers, and a variety of community-based and AIDS service organizations to design Medical Mentorship for Young People Living With HIV: Toolkit and Guide, created specifically for organizations and individuals dedicated to supporting youth, ages 13 to 24 living with HIV, to smoothly transition to and navigate adult care.
This publication reflects the collaborative efforts of Advocates for Youth (AFY) and youth activists in our Engaging Communities around HIV Organizing (ECHO) cohort, and the first round of ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action for Youth (PAFY) initiative Grantees: Abounding Prosperity, AIDS Alabama, Center on Halsted, RAIN, Inc., and NAESM, Inc. With support from ViiV Healthcare’s PAFY initiative, AFY conducted a collaborative co-creation process that leveraged the voices and expertise of the community as well as best practices, learnings and recommendations shared by the first PAFY grantees. This publication’s contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of ViiV Healthcare.