Transitioning Care


The Benefits of Transitioning Plans

Increased survival among children and youth diagnosed with HIV infection can be attributed to the monumental treatment advances that have been made during the past 25 years. HIV spectrum disease, known until recent years as an illness with a fatal outcome, is now considered a relatively new chronic illness among children and adolescents.1

As young HIV-infected patients age, they will inevitably be required to leave pediatric care and receive medical and psychosocial services at adolescent or adult care settings. This transition involves an adjustment to new providers and surroundings as well as to an entirely new health care approach that is reliant on a young person's capacity for self-care.

To prevent this transition from compromising a patient's care, providers should be mindful of the timing for a patient's transition, and well in advance of that event should set in motion a tailored process that adequately prepares the patient and family members for entry into the new adolescent or adult setting. This process should be informed by any cultural factors that could compromise or support a successful transition.

This module explores the key issues related to transitioning from pediatric to adolescent and adult care settings and offers practical strategies for devising transition plans for youth of various ages.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this module, providers will be able to:

  1. List 2 examples of how cultural beliefs on growing up and becoming independent can influence a family's process of allowing an adolescent to assume responsibility for his or her own health care.
  2. Describe 2 differences between pediatric and adult models of care that should be considered when designing a patient's transition plan.
  3. List 2 key characteristics of a transition plan for patients moving from pediatric to adolescent services.
  4. List 2 key characteristics of a transition plan for patients moving from adolescent to adult services.
  5. Identify 3 key principles of a successful transition plan for patients aging into adult services.


  • The course may be navigated either by selecting the "Next Page" button at the bottom of each screen, or by using the course outline buttons in the left navigation column.

  • All users will be asked to complete a final evaluation to help the sponsors assess the value of the course.


  1. Sherwen L, Tross S. Psychosocial Research Concerning Children, Families, and HIV/AIDS. In: Boyd-Franklin N, Stein G, Boland M, eds. Children, Families, and HIV/AIDS: Psychosocial and Therapeutic Issues. New York: Guilford Press; 1995:291-310.