In 2009, 6.7% of the estimated 1.1 million persons living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the United States were youths (defined in this report as persons aged 13-24 years); more than half of youths with HIV (59.5%) were unaware of their infection.
CDC used National HIV Surveillance System data to estimate, among youths, prevalence rates of -diagnosed HIV infection in 2009 and the number of new infections (incidence) in 2010. To assess the -prevalence of risk factors and HIV testing among youths, CDC used the 2009 and 2011 Youth Risk -Behavior Surveillance -System for 9th-12th grade students and the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for persons 18-24 years.
Prevalence of diagnosed HIV was 69.5 per 100,000 youths at the end of 2009. Youths accounted for 12,200 (25.7%) new HIV infections in 2010. Of these, 7,000 (57.4%) were among blacks/African Americans, 2,390 (19.6%) among Hispanics/Latinos, and 2,380 (19.5%) among whites; 8,800 (72.1%) were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact. The percentage of youths tested for HIV overall was 12.9% among high school students and 34.5% among those aged 18-24 years; it was lower among males than females, and lower among whites and Hispanics/Latinos than blacks/African Americans.
A disproportionate number of new HIV -infections occurs among youths, especially blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and men who have sex with men (MSM). The percentage of youths tested for HIV, however, was low, particularly among males. Implications for Public Health: More effort is needed to provide effective school- and community-based interventions to ensure all youths, particularly MSM, have the knowledge, skills, resources, and support necessary to avoid HIV infection. Health-care providers and public health agencies should ensure that youths are tested for HIV and have -access to sexual health services, and that HIV-positive youths receive ongoing health-care and prevention services.
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