Despite significant progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the United States, HIV prevention and treatment disparities among key populations remain a national public health concern. While new HIV diagnoses are increasing among people under age 30—in particular among racial, ethnic, and sexual minority adolescents and young adults (AYA)—dominant prevention and treatment paradigms too often inadequately consider the unique HIV service needs of AYA. To address this gap, we characterize persistent and largely overlooked AYA disparities across the HIV prevention and treatment continuum, identify AYA-specific limitations in extant resources for improving HIV service delivery in the United States, and propose a novel AYA-centered differentiated care framework adapted to the unique ecological and developmental factors shaping engagement, adherence, and retention in HIV services among AYA. Shifting the paradigm for AYA to differentiated HIV care is a promising approach that warrants implementation and evaluation as part of reinforced national efforts to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030.
Shifting the paradigm in HIV prevention and treatment service delivery toward differentiated care for youth