Systematic review and meta-analysis of the adolescent HIV continuum of care in South Africa: the Cresting Wave


CONTEXT: South Africa has the most HIV infections of any country in the world, yet little is known about the adolescent continuum of care from HIV diagnosis through viral suppression. OBJECTIVE: To determine the adolescent HIV continuum of care in South Africa. DATA SOURCES: We searched PubMed, Google Scholar and online conference proceedings from International AIDS Society (IAS), International AIDS Conference (AIDS) and Conference on Retrovirology and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) from 1 January 2005 to 31 July 2015. DATA EXTRACTION: We selected published literature containing South African cohorts and epidemiological data reporting primary data for youth (15-24 years of age) at any stage of the HIV continuum of care (ie, diagnosis, treatment, retention, viral suppression). For the meta-analysis we used six sources for retention in care and nine for viral suppression. RESULTS: Among the estimated 867 283 HIV-infected youth from 15 to 24 years old in South Africa in 2013, 14% accessed antiretroviral therapy (ART). Of those on therapy, approximately 83% were retained in care and 81% were virally suppressed. Overall, we estimate that 10% of HIV-infected youth in South Africa in 2013 were virally suppressed. LIMITATIONS: This analysis relies on published data from large mostly urban South Africa cohorts limiting the generalisability to all adolescents. CONCLUSIONS: Despite a large increase in ART programmes in South Africa that have relatively high retention rates and viral suppression rates among HIV-infected youth, only a small percentage are virally suppressed, largely due to low numbers of adolescents and young adults accessing ART


Zanoni BC, Archary M, Buchan S, Katz IT, Haberer JE




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Linkage/engagement in care
    • Retention in care
    • Treatment
  • Testing
    • Testing


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