Linkage to care for HIV-positive adolescents: a multisite study of the adolescent medicine trials units of the adolescent trials network

J Adolesc Health. 2012 Dec;51(6):551-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.03.012. Epub 2012 May 16.


Purpose: To understand linkage to care practices at sites providing clinical services to newly diagnosed HIV-positive adolescents.

Methods: Qualitative analysis of detailed interviews conducted with 28 personnel involved in linkage to care at 15 sites providing specialty care to HIV-positive adolescents.

Results: We showed that multiple models exist for linkage to care, and that both formal and informal community relationships are important for successful linkage to care. Stigma was seen as a universal issue, enhancing the importance of the balance of confidentiality and social support. Barriers to care, such as mental health issues, substance use, and transportation, are common.

Conclusions: We conclude that the complexity of linkage to care requires thought and planning as HIV testing is expanded to lower-risk populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Adolescent Health Services / standards
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Case Management / organization & administration*
  • Case Management / standards
  • Child
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Confidentiality
  • HIV Seropositivity / psychology
  • HIV Seropositivity / therapy*
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qualitative Research
  • Referral and Consultation / organization & administration
  • Referral and Consultation / standards
  • Social Stigma
  • Social Support
  • United States
  • Young Adult