Adolescents Living with HIV
Support and Empower adolescents living with HIV.
Adolescents (10-19 years) living with HIV in all districts.
With the first case of AIDS in Namibia reported in 1986, Namibia’s epidemic has since matured with a changing age profile of children in need of HIV care. The ANC prevalence peaked at 22% in 2002 and has now decreased to 18% (2012). Given that infection progresses slowly in 25 to 30% of those infants infected through mother to child transmission, the median life span of these infants is 14–16 years, even without ART. These HIV+ adolescents then become part of the relatively large youthful population which is characterized by early sexual debut.
It is estimated that 159 744 adults over the age of 15 years are living with HIV/AIDS. Improved access to pediatric ART and provision of HIV care has meant greater proportions of HIV infected infants surviving to adolescence. Despite the growing numbers there has been little focus in providing this group with specialized care. There are no dedicated services for adolescents living with HIV and AIDS and children generally move from pediatric to adult care services at 8-12 years of age. There is no data on child and ALHIV disaggregated by age 5-14 or 10–19 years.
Recent data from the National referral hospital shows that AIDS is now the most common reason for hospitalization in adolescence with mother to child the most likely mode of transmission. There has been considerable emphasis on prevention of HIV infection but much less on the care of those already infected. There is an emerging epidemic of adolescent survivors of HIV, with clinics reporting challenges faced by adolescents ranging from disclosure (21%), adherence to treatment (36%), psycho-social issues(56%) and reproductive health (8%).
Data sources: HIV Sentinel Surveillance 2012; Katutura Hospital HIS; MOHSS Estimates and Projections of the Impact of HIV/AIDS in Namibia 2009/10
By end 2018, 80% of Adolescent benefit from comprehensive health services including HIV prevention, treatment and care
Indicator: Number of young people 15-24 tested during last year.