Fact Sheets: HIV in
December 1, 1999
Association for World Health
HIV and Youth
American adolescents are engaging in behaviors that may put them at risk
of acquiring HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. In
periodic studies of high school students, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) consistently found the following:
people account for an increasing number of new HIV infections despite a
decline in sexual risk behaviors and an increase in condom use among
sexually active young people.
Approximately 50% of high school students have had sexual intercourse.
Nearly 25% of 12th-graders have had four or more sex partners.
about half of sexually active 12th-graders report using latex condoms
all of the time.
Surveys of risk behavior among young people suggest that prevention
programs have helped increase condom use among adolescents who are
sexually active without increasing the level of sexual activity among
young people. The following statistics are taken from the CDC's Youth
Risk Behavior Survey:
injection led to 6% of HIV diagnoses in those aged 13-24 from 1994-1997.
57% of HIV cases were attributed to sexual transmission (26%
heterosexual and 31% male-to-male sex).
percentage of sexually experienced high school students decreased from
54% in 1991 to 48% percent in 1997.
Condom use among students who are sexually active increased from 46% to
57% from 1991 to 1997.
50 high school students reports having injected an illegal drug.
studies have indicated the following:
men who have sex with men remain at high risk for HIV, particularly
young men of color.
Adolescents who are most vulnerable to HIV infection also include those
who are homeless or runaways, juvenile offenders and school dropouts.
Adolescent females are becoming infected by older sex partners or
STDs and HIV
Infection with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) increases the risk
of HIV infection, especially in women. In other words, a person infected
with a sexually transmitted disease has an increased risk of contracting
HIV from an infected partner; in addition, an HIV-infected person
co-infected with another STD will transmit HIV more easily to his or her
partner during unprotected intercourse.
People infected with an STD are 2-5 times more likely to become infected
prevalence of STDs can be an important indication of where HIV infection
may spread and where efforts to promote safer sexual behaviors should be
that cause genital lesions can create a portal of entry for HIV. Even
without lesions, STDs increase the number of HIV target cells (CD4
cells) in cervical secretions, thereby increasing HIV susceptibility in
Recent studies suggest that treatments for some STDs, such as gonorrhea
and chlamydia, reduce HIV transmission. This new evidence does not mean
that people infected with HIV or an STD should not consistently practice
safer sex; nor does it imply that STD treatments cure HIV infections.
HIV Among the Incarcerated
is one of the most common diseases among the incarcerated. Despite this,
HIV testing, emotional support, prevention education, and proper medical
care are often not readily available in prison environments. In some
prisons, they are nonexistent. Also, in some prisons HIV-positive
prisoners are arbitrarily labeled as high-security prisoners because of
their HIV status.
incidence of AIDS is 14 times higher in state and federal correctional
facilities than in the general population, according to the Health
Resources Services Administration.
is the second leading cause of death in the nation's prisons.
recent survey indicated that in 1997, 4% of all women in state prisons
were HIV-positive compared with 2.3% of all men in state prisons.
in prisons where HIV care is present, common challenges include
monitoring inmates during their treatment regimens and helping them
comply with demanding drug treatment regimens