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. In 2005, there were an estimated 19,134 people aged 13–24 years living with HIV/AIDS,1 representing 4.0 percent of all cases.

An estimated 5,132 people aged 13–24 years were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2005, representing 13.7 percent of all new cases. While the 13- to 14- and 15- to 19-year-old age groups accounted for only 43 and 1,213 new HIV/AIDS cases, respectively, this represents an increase since 2004 of 30 percent among adolescents aged 13–14 years and 16.6 percent among those aged 15–19. Comparatively, the age group with the next highest percentage increase was 50- to 54-year-olds (11.6 percent).

The number of AIDS cases diagnosed among people aged 13–24 years was 2,369 in 2005, and 41,146 since the epidemic began in the early 1980s (data not shown). Among people who died with AIDS in 2005, 1.3 percent (213 persons) were adolescents and young adults. Since the beginning of the epidemic, 9,887 people in this age group have died with the disease. While the estimated number of people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS increased 6.6 percent in 2005, the number of deaths of people with the disease has decreased in recent years due, in part, to the availability of effective prescription drugs to combat the disease. Part D of HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program provides family-centered, comprehensive care to children, youth and women with HIV/AIDS and their families.

Number of Persons Aged 13-24 Diagnosed With and Living With HIV/AIDS, and Dying With AIDS, by Age, 2005[D]

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 dependent areas with confidential name-based reporting.

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