According to a CDC report, young people ages 13 to 24 years accounted for more than a quarter of new HIV infections in the United States in 2010. They amounted to approximately 12,000 cases, but only about a third of the persons in that age group had been tested. Director of CDC Thomas Frieden, MD, stated that every month 1,000 youth are becoming infected with HIV. The report provides details of the prevalence, incidence, and risk factors for HIV among youths. A major implication of the new incidence data is the increasing future healthcare burden, Frieden explained. He noted that the lifetime cost of care for an individual with HIV is approximately $400,000.
CDC researchers used surveillance data to analyze 2009 prevalence rates of diagnosed HIV among youths and the number of new infections in 13 to 24-year-olds in 2010. They assessed the prevalence of risk factors and HIV testing among youth in high school and those aged 18?24 years, and found that in 2009, the prevalence of HIV among youth was 69.5 per 100,000 of population with a state-by-state range of 2.3 to 562.8 per 100,000. The rates were higher in southern and northeastern states than in western and midwestern states. Of the estimated 47,500 new HIV infections in 2110, 12,200 (25.7 percent) were among youths—and more than four-fifths (82.8 percent) of those new infections were in males.
Among newly infected youth, 57.4 percent were African American, 19.6 percent were Hispanics, and 19.5 percent were white. The majority of HIV infections were from male-to-male sexual transmission (72.1 percent), while heterosexual contact accounted for 19.8 percent, injection drug use 4 percent, and a combination of male-to-male sex and injection drug use for 3.7 percent. The agency used data from 12 states and nine large urban school districts collected in 2009 and 2011 to analyze risk behaviors among male and female high school students in grades 9 through 12. Males who had sexual contact with other males reported more risky behavior and were less likely to report having ever been taught in school about AIDS or HIV infection. In 2011, only 12.9 percent of the students reported that they had ever been tested for HIV.
The report, “Vital Signs: HIV Infection, Testing, and Risk Behaviors Among Youths—United States,” is published in CDC’s Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report Early Release (November 27 2012; 61:1?6).
[PNU Editor’s note: The report can be accessed by visiting http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm61e1127.pdf.]
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