The impact of COVID-19 on HIV treatment of adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa: A scoping review


BACKGROUND: Adolescents living with HIV are a key population who are susceptible to poor health. The global coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and widespread national COVID-19 restrictions has disrupted health service delivery and HIV support services, affecting treatment adherence among adolescents with HIV. AIM: This study aimed to review the available literature on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the HIV treatment of adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. METHOD: Seven online databases were searched for articles published between 2020 and 2022 that focused on the impact of COVID-19 on adolescents living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy. A data charting extraction form and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocol (PRISMA) flowchart were used for screening and reporting the articles in this review. A narrative synthesis was conducted. RESULTS: Five overarching themes emerged from the articles in this review, which highlighted the mental, social, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the impact of the reallocation of healthcare services and challenges to accessing HIV care services on the antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence of adolescents living with HIV. CONCLUSION: The global COVID-19 pandemic affected adolescents living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa in many ways, but very little research has been done to describe the various ways in which the physical and mental well-being of adolescents were impacted. CONTRIBUTION: The findings of this review can be used to further inform policies and interventions aimed at the care and well-being of adolescents on antiretroviral therapy within sub-Saharan Africa.


Mayman YR, van Wyk B




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Health services
  • Population(s)
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-infections
    • Other


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