HIV Among Youth
CDC Study Finds Large Differences in HIV Diagnosis Rates by Age Among Young Persons
Although young persons between the ages of 13 and 29 represented 23% of the U.S. population during 2014, they accounted for 40% of new diagnoses during that year, according a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, the diagnosis rates were not uniformly high among young persons, but instead varied substantially by age. During the period from 2010 through 2014, HIV diagnosis rates per 100,000 population rose rapidly with increasing age from 0.7 among persons aged 13 to 15 years, 4.5 among those 16 to 17 years, 16.5 among those 18 to 19 years, and 28.6 among those 20 to 21 years. The HIV diagnosis rates per 100,000 population were higher, but less variable, among persons aged 22 to 23 years (34.0), 24 to 25 years (33.8), 26 to 27 years (31.3), and 28 to 29 years (28.7).
“These findings underscore the importance of targeting primary prevention efforts to persons aged under 18 years, specifically those aged 16 to 17 years, and continuing through the period of elevated risk in the mid-twenties,” according to CDC study researchers. “Much remains to be understood about the factors that affect adolescents and young adults at high risk for acquiring or transmitting HIV infection . . . When implementing effective HIV prevention strategies, a multifaceted approach that incorporates the educational, social, policy, and health care systems can help support youths as they transition from adolescence into young adulthood.”