Moving to an adult clinic

We use the word transition to describe the process in which young people and their care team prepare, plan and then move the young person from children’s to adults’ health care services. We understand that moving away from your children’s health team can feel scary. You may have grown up with them or known them for many years. However, this can also be an exciting stage in your life as you are about to make a positive step into adulthood and enter a new chapter where you will have greater independence.

Transition is a gradual process that gives you and everyone involved in your care time to prepare you for the move to adult services. Throughout this time, your team will be there to support you and to help you feel more confident and happier about the move.

Transition is about making plans together with you – and not just about you.

What transition may look like for you

Age 12+

Your clinic team will introduce topics aimed at building your health knowledge and will start to talk about transition. Around this age you will also start to see your doctor/nurse on your own for part of your appointment. This happens in most children’s clinics. Your clinic team will use this time to discuss topics that you may not feel comfortable talking about in front of your parents/carers.

Age 13 – 16

Your clinic team will discuss transition with you in more detail including the options available for the adult service of your choice, depending on where you live. You will also continue to build on your health knowledge as well as talking about your emotional wellbeing. Becoming more independent is an important part of this stage.

Age 16 – 18

You should now be ready to be welcomed into the young adult/adult service of your choice. You may already be part of an adolescent or transition clinic and will have met the adult team. If not, you can ask your children’s team to arrange a visit to the adult clinic to see what it’s like and meet the team before your move.

  • Use this document, All About Me, in your appointments with your doctor or nurse to help track your journey with your HIV and transitioning.
  • You may also want to look at this short guidance document for clinics. It is aimed at your healthcare team but was written by young people. It outlines key differences between child and adult clinics, and what can smooth the transition between them.