Adolescent and Young Adult HIV/AIDS
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which damages or kills the cells that are responsible for fighting infection. AIDS is diagnosed when HIV has weakened the immune system enough that the body has a difficult time fighting infections.
An estimated 5,259 people aged 13-24 years were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS1 in 2006, representing 14.3 percent of all new cases. While the number of diagnoses among children aged 13-14 years fluctuates from year to year, the number of diagnoses among the older age groups have increased steadily over the past few years. Diagnoses of HIV/AIDS among adolescents aged 15-19 years and young adults aged 20-24 years have increased 34 and 23 percent, respectively, since 2003.
In 2006, there were 211 deaths of adolescents and young adults with AIDS, representing 1.4 percent of all deaths of persons with AIDS. Since the beginning of the epidemic, an estimated 10,096 persons aged 13-24 years have died with the disease. Deaths of persons with AIDS have generally decreased in recent years, due in part to the availability of effective prescription drugs to combat the disease.
With an increase in diagnoses and a decrease in deaths, the number of people living with HIV/ AIDS has increased. In 2006, there were an estimated 19,979 people aged 13-24 years living with HIV/AIDS, representing 3.9 percent of all cases. Overall, the number of adolescents and young adults living with HIV/AIDS has increased 19 percent since 2003.
1 Includes persons with a diagnosis of HIV infection only, a diagnosis of HIV infection and a later AIDS diagnosis, and concurrent diagnoses of HIV infection and AIDS in 33 states and 5 dependent areas with confidential name-based reporting.↑