How Many American Youths Are Affected by HIV?

HIV red ribbon (Care TV)

HIV red ribbon (Care TV)

HIV can strike anyone, but it’s especially harmful for young people, as they may not know to get tested and can unknowingly pass it on to partners. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 12K of youths (“youths” defined as people ages 13-24) are infected with HIV in 2010, or a rate of 1K a month. (I couldn’t find any data on how large this number has grown six years later.)

This counts for about 25% of new HIV infections. The CDC estimates that 75% of infections that youths acquire will affect young men. Young women are more likely to contract the virus through heterosexual sex at 86%, and young men are more likely to contract it through homosexual sex at 87%. About 60% of youth do not know they are infected, and can unknowingly pass the virus on to partners.

With these numbers in mind, it’s imperative that we raise awareness so those who are sexually active get tested, particularly young people.



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