Enhancing the health and social wellbeing of children and young people living with HIV


Teenage years are a time when your child will undergo a lot of changes as they grow up and approach adulthood. They will start to have more idea of who they are and develop their identity.  This can bring with it a lot more questioning about themselves and their lives. Teenagers will naturally begin to look for more independence.

As a parent you will be very aware of these changes, some of which may be challenging, for example if your teenager wants more freedom to make decisions about their lives than you would like them to have.
Probably the most important thing to remember is that this period of time is a transition from child to adult, meaning they (and you!) will come out the other side. Try and remember what you felt like at that age, and then think about the changes your child needs to go through to grow up. They may not always get it right, but they will learn from mistakes along the way.

With an HIV positive teenager it could be a time when they seek greater control over their health care and you may begin to feel less involved. Doctors will want to see teenagers on their own at clinic appointments as this is an important way to help them develop confidence in managing their own health. Your child may not tell you what was discussed at their clinic appointments. They may stop taking their medication, or they may start to forget it as their social life becomes more important to them and they are out of the house more.

If you are worried about your child’s health and whether they are taking their medication, talk to their health care team.  They will know if your child is taking their medication from their blood tests and they may be able to work out a way that you can be kept informed so you do not worry.