HIV Among Youth

A teenage girl and several teen boys sitting in a classroomToday’s youth need age-appropriate HIV prevention education provided by parents, schools, the community, and web-based educational programs. They need to be taught early about HIV prevention in a way that they can understand and use. This includes education about risks and skills to help delay sex and prevent HIV infection.

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You may ask why is this necessary….Here are a few reasons, and they are profound: one in four (12,000 per year, 1,000 a month) new HIV infections in the United States is among young people between the ages of 13 and 24. More than half of new infections among youth occur in African Americans, that is more new infections than among any other group by race/ethnicity and gender.

Parents, teachers, mentors and community leaders need to have this information to move us to act, to make a concerted effort to provide our nation’s youth with the tools and resources they need to assess their own personal risk, to decrease risky behaviors, to get tested, and protect themselves from HIV infection.