Black Teens & HIV

profile of an african american teenager( — Adolescence is a time of dramatic physical, emotional, mental and social change. The transitions that occur usher youth into the social and sexual world as independent beings. These changes provide opportunities for positive growth experiences, but they also bring new vulnerabilities.

Unfortunately, young people in the U.S. and other parts of the world are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection. One of the hallmarks of adolescence is the formation of a sexual identity, while another is the inclination for taking risks. When mixed, these characteristics can be dangerous, as reflected in the fact that half of all new HIV infections each year are estimated to occur among youth aged 13 to 24.

The Challenges of Adolescence