HIV+ teens keep the virus in check better when their parents accompany them to their clinic appointments, according to a study from Botswana, published in JAMA Pediatrics.
The researchers studied 300 HIV-positive adolescents visiting a Bostwana clinic 4 times a year, beginning in 2012. After 3 months, the virus had become undetectable in about 77% of teens accompanied visiting clinics with a guardian, compared to about 57% for the rest. By the 6-month checkup, roughly 89% of teens accompanied by a parent or guardian had undetectable virus levels, compared with about 75% for the others, according to the study by University of Pennsylvania, Botswana-UPenn Partnership and others.
The authors note that the study doesn’t prove that the guardian support caused the difference, but it suggests that “absence of a parent from an adolescent’s clinic visit was strongly associated with HIV virologic failure.”