AIDS is still the leading cause of death for African teens. In a resource-limited country like Malawi, there is a gap between pediatric and adult health care that leads to HIV+ teens being forgotten. As a result, they face a high risk of stopping treatment and putting their lives at risk. Teens who are not on treatment regularly miss school due to infections. Without access to youth-focused health care, HIV+ teens have become a lost generation. Together, let's be the generation that ends AIDS.
Youth with HIV are particularly vulnerable to stigma and face gaps between pediatric and adult care, particularly in a resource limited country like Malawi. As a result, they are deterred from seeking treatment and are more likely to drop out of care and put their lives at risk. It is estimated that of the 34,000 new HIV infections in 2017, roughly a third affected are 15-17 year olds. We must keep the momentum in the fight to eradicate AIDS. Teen Clubs get us one step closer.
Our research has shown that adolescents who go to Teen Club are3.7 times more likely to stay on treatment than those who don't. Teen Club aims at improving retention in care among adolescents in response to the high numbers of teens dropping off their medication. Our Teen Club program does this in a unique approach that offers teens a safe space to receive their medications, play interactive games, learn about their unique health challenges and form supportive peer relationships.
Our goal is to launch 16 NEW Teen Clubs in 2018 which will reach over 900 HIV+ teens in south eastern Malawi. This would ensure teens in Malawi receive lifesaving medications and treatment required for them to thrive into adulthood. The Clubs facilitate prevention and care through an Adolescent Peer Support model to address, educate and motivate HIV+ Teens to understand the prevention of HIV transmission.