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BACKGROUND: Adolescents living with HIV experience worse HIV care outcomes compared to adults, especially during transition from pediatric to adult care. However, data regarding adolescents are limited. This paper describes and compares characteristics of male and female adolescents living with HIV preparing for transition from pediatric to adult care in Cambodia.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted in August 2016 among 328 adolescents aged 15-17, randomly selected from 11 antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinics. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire, and descriptive analyses were conducted to compare characteristics of male and female adolescents.

RESULTS: Of total, 55.2% were male, and 40.8% were living with parents. Majority (82.6%) got HIV infection from their mothers. Overall, adolescents had received ART for an average of 8.4 years, and HIV care for 9.5 years. Additionally, 82.4% were on first line ART regimen. Mean CD4 count from the most recent test was 672 cells/mm

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a snapshot of immunological, virological, adherence, and disclosure outcomes that should be tracked during and following healthcare transition to evaluate the effectiveness of the transition program. Findings showed high ART adherence, low likelihood of disclosure outside of family circles, sub-optimal condom use, and poor knowledge of HIV. To provide individualized support for healthcare transition, pediatric and adult clinics need to ensure that these characteristics are taken into account.

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Original published in BMC Health Services Research, 18(1), [781]. The original material can be found here.