Most HIV-positive US youth don't know they're sick, study finds

More than a quarter of new HIV infections in the United States strike young people aged 13 to 24 and 60 percent of those don't know they're sick, health officials said Tuesday.

An estimated 12,200 youth were infected with HIV in 2010, the (CDC) said in a new study.

Young gay and bisexual men and African American youths were hit hardest, and the study found a variety of reasons for risky behavior that increases the risk of contracting the virus.

Only 13 percent of and 35 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds have been checked for HIV despite recommendations for routine testing.

The failure to test has contributed to the fact that young people are far less likely to get and stay in treatment programs that can keep the virus in check, help them stay healthy and reduce the risk of further transmission, according to the CDC.

"That so many young people become infected with HIV each year is a preventable tragedy," CDC Director Thomas Frieden said in a statement.

"All young people can protect their health, avoid contracting and transmitting the virus, and learn their ."

The CDC estimates that about 50,000 people are infected with HIV each year in the United States and that youth make up seven percent of the 1.1 million Americans living with HIV.

Nearly 60 percent of new infections among youth occur in American Americans, while 20 percent are among Hispanic youth and 20 percent among white youth. African Americans make up just 12.6 percent of the overall population.

Young men were also disproportionately affected, representing 83 percent of those infected.

This was primarily because of sharply higher rates among gay and bisexual males who were less likely to use condoms, and more likely to have and drink alcohol or do drugs prior to having sex.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Wednesday is national HIV testing day

Jun 26, 2012

(HealthDay) -- More than 1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, but 20 percent of them don't know they're infected.

Many Americans with HIV go untreated: study

Nov 29, 2011

Nearly three quarters of the 1.2 million Americans with HIV do not have their infection under control, raising the risk of death from AIDS and transmission to others, said a US study on Tuesday.

Recommended for you

A fresh setback for efforts to cure HIV infection

1 hour ago

Researchers are reporting another disappointment for efforts to cure infection with the AIDS virus. Six patients given blood-cell transplants similar to one that cured a man known as "the Berlin patient" have ...

Cambodia village reports mass HIV/AIDS infection

Dec 16, 2014

Cambodian health authorities on Tuesday said more than 80 people—including children and the elderly—who tested positive for HIV/AIDS in a single remote village may have been infected by contaminated needles.

Occasional heroin use may worsen HIV infection

Dec 15, 2014

Researchers at Yale and Boston University and their Russian collaborators have found that occasional heroin use by HIV-positive patients may be particularly harmful to the immune system and worsens HIV disease, compared to ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.