In adults with HIV, fatigue is a common and disabling symptom associated with suboptimal adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), poor health and well-being, reduced economic productivity, and increased health care resource use. Fatigue among adolescents with HIV is relatively unexplored. We recruited 14 adolescents with HIV receiving ART in South Africa whom we interviewed about fatigue. We used thematic analysis to analyse the data. Participants reported difficulties in maintaining concentration at school and resorting to self-care strategies such as napping during school hours. Adolescents also described actively avoiding activities thought to lead to fatigue and spoke of being socially excluded by their peers. The findings demonstrate that adolescents experienced symptoms consistent with a definition of fatigue, which had implications for their academic and social lives.
- HIV, antiretroviral therapy, adolescents, fatigue, qualitative