Patient Perspectives on Telehealth for HIV and Mental Health Care at a Pediatric and Adolescent HIV Clinic in Washington, DC

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



AIDS and behavior




HIV; Telehealth; Telemedicine; Telepsychology; Youth


Despite the scale-up of telehealth for children and youth living with HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic, their experience and interest in continued telehealth use in the future is unknown. We conducted a quality improvement project to identify areas for improvement of telehealth delivery to children and youth living with HIV and evaluate youth's experiences when using telehealth for mental health services. Children and youth living with HIV (up to 24 years) seen at a specialty HIV program during 2020-2021 were surveyed regarding technology access, telehealth knowledge, barriers to telehealth use and interest in future telehealth use for HIV care. Youth (12-<24 years) who used telehealth for mental health services were surveyed regarding their experiences. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Of the 170 patients in care, we surveyed 103 children and youth living with HIV (median age 17.6 years, 88.3% Black, 52.4% female, 77.7% perinatally infected), of whom 69.9% had prior telehealth use for their clinical visit. Most patients had access to a device with internet (99%) and were interested in future telehealth use for HIV care (87.4%). Reasons for not wanting to use telehealth included privacy concerns, distrust, discomfort with telehealth, preferring in-person visits, technology access issues and needing translation services. Most youth (81%) surveyed regarding telehealth for mental health services were satisfied and very likely to recommend it to others. Despite some reported barriers to telehealth, there is a high desirability for continued telehealth use among children and youth receiving HIV care.