HIV Infection on Rise Among Teens and Young Adults

According to new data released by the CDC on Nov 27th, the overall infection rate of Americans is stable, around 50,000 cases each year. But, HIV Infection is on the rise among teens and young adults ages 13- 24.  This age group accounts for roughly 12,000 new cases.

hiv on the riseRoughly 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.

Many young people seem to have the attitude that HIV is a disease for older people. They are growing up in an era where medicine can help keep the infection in check, so to them, it’s no big deal. We all owe it to the younger generations to set them straight.

As concerned citizens, parents, brothers, sisters, and neighbors, the CDC recommends that we talk with our young about HIV Prevention frequently.  Further, we can engage in HIV education programs and support safe environments in schools. We should strive to make sure your community offers testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as treatment for youth needing it. And talk to our doctors about HIV testing and prevention for your youth, and ask your insurer if HIV screening is available without a co-pay, as required by the Affordable Care Act for most health plans.

For the complete breakdown of the latest CDC report, please go here: http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/HIVAmongYouth/index.html