While access to HIV testing and treatment has been a success story, globally, adolescents are being left behind with AIDS-related mortality among adolescents increasing from 2007-2012 by 50%, with over 90% of these deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. This meta-analysis of 24 qualitative studies looked at the prominent reasons that adolescents are not accessing care and treatment. All studies identified stigma as negatively impacting testing, treatment, retention and adherence. Self-efficacy to adapt to life with HIV, support from family or social networks and provision of adolescent-friendly services were all critical enablers supporting uptake and retention in HIV care and treatment programs. The authors urged prioritizing psychosocial interventions to increase adolescents living with HIV’s engagement in care.
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