Health Status > Adolescents
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 an HIV infection becomes
advanced and meets certain criteria determined by the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2004, 4,883
people aged 13 to 24 years were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS,*
representing approximately 12.5 percent of all diagnoses.
The number of AIDS cases diagnosed among this age group
was 2,174 in 2004, and 40,059 since the epidemic began in
the early 1980s.
There were 18,293 people aged 13 to 24
years living with HIV/AIDS in 2004, representing approximately
4 percent of all cases. Among people who died with AIDS
in 2004, just over 1 percent (232 persons) were adolescents
and young adults. Since the beginning of the epidemic, just
over 10,000 people in this age group have died with the
disease. While the number of people living with HIV/AIDS
has increased in recent years, the number of deaths of people
with the disease has decreased due in part to the availability
of effective prescription drugs to combat the disease.
*This 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.