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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


PAIVA, Vera et al. The sexuality of HIV-positive adolescents: rights and challenges for healthcare. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.10, pp.4199-4210. ISSN 1678-4561.

Sexuality and reproductive healthcare represent relevant issues for comprehensive care of HIV-positive adolescents. However, public policies and health services give this issue insufficient attention. The scope of this article is to assess how HIV-positive young people and teenagers cope with their sexuality, dating and the urge to have children and start a family. In a qualitative study, in-depth interviews were staged with 21 HIV-positive (contracted by vertical, sexual or intravenous transmission) teenagers and 13 caregivers of children and youths living in Sao Paulo and Santos. The interviews revealed the different ways teenagers cope with their sexuality and with the anxiety of HIV disclosure in this context. Lack of information about HIV prevention, lack of support and skills to cope with their sexuality were revealed in the reports. Furthermore, stigma and discrimination were the most frequently reported difficulties. The main challenges to be faced in Brazil in regard to this issue are discussed, especially the need to consider HIV-positive youth as entitled to sexual rights. Recommendations are also made for incorporating the issue into a humanized and comprehensive care approach for HIV-positive children and young people.

Keywords : HIV/AIDS; Youths; Adolescents; Vulnerability; Comprehensive care; Sexuality; Reproductive rights.

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