Child Health USA 2006
Photographs of children's faces

Health Status > Adolescents


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.


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Child Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Child Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.