Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Steven Matarelli


To ensure stability in the continuum of health care for HIV-positive youth with perinatal acquisition, there is a need for a successful transition from pediatric to adult primary care. However, there are a growing number of perinatally infected HIV-positive young persons remaining in pediatric care beyond the age of 21. Using Mohr’s program theory and a phenomenological approach, the lived experiences of Ohio HIV clinicians were examined to determine why many perinatally infected HIV-positive youths are remaining in pediatric care beyond the age of 21. Audio recorded video interviews via SKYPE were conducted with 12 participants, transcribed, underwent thematic analysis, and were coupled with review of existing policy documents from Ohio-based Ryan White Part C and D clinics. Three themes emerged: (a) lack of awareness or absence of formal policies, (b) barriers created by the hand-holding nature of the pediatric system, and (c) the relationship dynamics between the young person and their HIV care team. This research supporting an HIV clinicians’ unique viewpoints and perceived challenges of health care transition for this population by the age of 21 could affect positive social change by assisting health systems in the development of new policies and practices that facilitate successful reduction in the number of adolescents that are lost in their HIV care continuum.