[Psychosocial aspects in a cohort of vertically transmitted human immunodeficiency virus-infected adolescents.].


INTRODUCTION: Thanks to advances in antiretroviral treatment, children with HIV infections through vertical transmission have improved their life expectancy. However, new challenges have emerged. We propose this study in order to determine the psychosocial aspects and knowledge of infections in a cohort of adolescents with vertically transmitted HIV infections. METHODS: Patients with vertically-acquired HIV infection between 12 and 19 years old were included. Data were obtained through semi-structured interviews and a Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire for emotional and behavioral disorders screening. RESULTS: We evaluated 96 patients (58% females) with a median age of 15 years (11-19.1) and a median age at diagnosis of 1.70 years (0-12.2). The median CD4 count was 626cells/mm3 (132-998), and the viral load was<50cp/ml in 72% of patients. Among them, 90% attended school and 60% repeated at least one course. Although 81% of them knew of their diagnosis, only 30% understood their disease, with 18.2% having discussed it with friends. Six unwanted pregnancies occurred during the study period. Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire showed hyperactivity risk in 33%. CONCLUSION: A high percentage of adolescents show difficulties in several areas (disease knowledge, peer relationship, school failure...) that can have an impact on their adult lives. Further studies are needed to evaluate their origin and development in depth, as well as interventions to modify this situation.