The IDI Adolescent And Young Adult’s Clinic
The HIV/AIDS epidemic began with illness, fear, and death as the world faced a new and unknown virus. Many myths and a lot of misinformation surrounded the infection and its effect on people.
However, over the last 30 years, research, and scientific advances such as the development of antiretroviral drugs have enabled people to access treatment to live long and healthy lives even with HIV. New interventions and service delivery models have been developed to work towards ending HIV/AIDS.
The Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) has been part of this fight to end HIV and develop approaches to extend comprehensive HIV services to people including those in remote communities as well as marginalized groups of people.
The Adolescent and Young Adult Clinic in Mulago is one of the Differentiated Service Delivery Approaches used under the IDI Prevention Care and Treatment Department to extend HIV care. This clinic was established in 2014 for adolescents and young adults aged 16-24 years and runs every Wednesday. It was established to bridge the gap between pediatric and adult care to offer youth-friendly clinical and psychosocial services.
Currently, there are approximately 170 clients. 110 clients are between the ages of 17-23 years and 60 are aged 24 years. Those aged 24 are also prepared to be transitioned to adult clinics.
The services provided at the clinic include;
- Peer support groups/meeting
- Sexual Reproductive Health Care. (Family planning, PMTCT, Sexually Transmitted Infection treatment)
- HIV clinical care (HAART Enrolment, treatment of opportunistic infections, and laboratory monitoring)
- Psychosocial Support (Youth-friendly counseling, etc.)
Through peer support groups, these adolescents and young adults get to share experiences and lessons with their counterparts. This has also helped them to adhere to treatment leading to suppressed viral loads.
The clinic has a Memorandum of Understanding with Community-based and non-government organizations that offer skills training. Many of the young adults have been referred for different courses such as hairdressing, and tailoring, among other skills and some have gone on to start businesses
This project is supported by the IDI Kampala Health Project with funding from PEPFAR (President’s s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) through CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).