Get the Facts

The numbers are clear—young people are at risk for HIV infection. Every young adult, parent and educator needs to learn the facts about HIV/AIDS. If you don’t think HIV/AIDS can affect anyone you know, check out the statistics below.

  1. It is estimated that Americans between the ages of 13 and 24 are contracting HIV at a rate of two per hour. This translates into an estimated 20,000 new infections each year.
  2. In fact, while they make up only 16% of the population, people under the age of 25 represent an estimated one-half of all new HIV infections. The majority of these cases are contracted sexually.
  3. By the time they reach 12th grade, 65% of American youth are sexually active, with one in five reporting four or more sexual partners.
  4. Three million adolescents—roughly one in four sexually experienced teens—contract sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) annually. Two-thirds of the 12 million Americans with STDs are under the age of 25. These statistics are a clear indication that young people are engaging in unprotected sex.
  5. Rates of HIV infection among African-American and Latino youth are disproportionate. While each group makes up only about 15% of U.S. teenagers, African-Americans account for 67% of reported HIV infections and Latinos account for an additional 20%.
  6. Young women between the ages of 13 and 19 seem to be at higher risk, comprising 63% of reported HIV cases within their age group.
  7. While the CDC estimates that men who have sex with men account for just 4% of the U.S. male population aged 13 and older, their rate of new HIV diagnoses is more than 44 times that of other men.
  8. Nearly 90% of young Americans surveyed reported that they do not believe that they are at risk for HIV infection.
  9. In 1991, 54% of high school students reported having engaged in sexual intercourse. By 1999, this figure had dropped to 50%, and by 2007, it had dropped to 48%.
  10. Between 1991 and 1999, the percentage of sexually active high school students who reported using a condom the last time they had sex increased from 46% to 58%. By 2007, this number reached 62%.

Learn More:
The Difference Between HIV and AIDS
Transmission and Prevention of HIV
HIV Testing

When you demystify sexual health issues, you open doors for young people to focus on becoming healthy, happy and successful individuals.


– Vivian, LEAP for Girls Facilitator

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