About 50,000 people are infected with HIV each year, and 1 in 4 is 13 to 24 years old. Youth make up 7% of the more than 1 million people in the US living with HIV. About 12,000 youth were infected with HIV in 2010. The greatest number of infections occurred among gay and bisexual youth.
Nearly half of all new infections among youth occur in African American males.
The risk for HIV for most youth begins when they start having sex or start injecting drugs. HIV causes a serious infection that, without treatment, leads to AIDS and early death. All youth should know how HIV is transmitted and prevented, understand what puts them at risk for HIV, and be tested if they are at risk.
Many people get infected with HIV as a teen or young adult
New HIV infections in youth in 2010
- About 1 in 4 (26%) of all new HIV infections is among youth ages 13 to 24 years. About 4 in 5 of these infections occur in males.
- Nearly 60% of new infections in youth occur in African Americans, about 20% in Hispanics/Latinos, and about 20% in whites.
- Over half (54%) of new infections among young gay and bisexual males are in African Americans.
- About 87% of young males got HIV from male to- male sex, 6% from heterosexual sex, 2% from injection drug use and about 5% from a combination of male-to-male sex and injection drug use.
- About 86% of young females got HIV through heterosexual sex and 13% from injection drug use.
- More new infections occurred among young African American males than in any other group of youth by race/ethnicity and sex.
Most youth are not getting tested for HIV
- About 60% of youth with HIV do not know they are infected and so don’t receive treatment, putting them at risk for sickness and early death. These youth can also unknowingly pass HIV to others.
- Young men are far more likely than young women to have HIV and are also less likely to get tested.
- African American youth are more likely to get tested for HIV than youth of other races or ethnicities.
- Youth who report being at risk for HIV are also more likely to get tested, but still many youth at risk have never been tested.
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