A non-specialist depression care pathway for adolescents living with HIV and transitioning into adult care in Peru: a nested pilot study
Adolescents living with HIV (ALWH) are disproportionally impacted by depression and experience worse HIV outcomes compared to other age groups. Integrating depression care with HIV care for ALWH during transition to adult care—an especially crucial time when adolescents frequently disengage from HIV care—holds promise as a strategy for supporting antiretroviral adherence among ALWH, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where >90% of people with HIV live.
In this brief article, we describe a small pilot study of a simple depression care pathway with psychological first aid delivered by non-mental health specialists for Peruvian ALWH transitioning to adult care. Though small, this is the first study to report on depression symptom prevalence among adolescents living with HIV in Peru and pilot test a depression care pathway that could inform future integration of mental health services with HIV care in Peru.