3 Must-Know Facts About Youth HIV/AIDS


April 10 is National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, or #NYHAAD. Here are some important facts to know about HIV/AIDS and youth!

  1. Young people account for over a quarter of new HIV cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Alarming, yes. In some way this can can be attributed to a lack of comprehensive sex education in schools, in addition to the low rates of youth getting tested for HIV— only ⅕ of sexually experienced high school students have been tested.
  2. Over half of youth infected with HIV in the U.S. do not know that they have the virus. This might be related to the results of a Kaiser Family Foundation study suggesting that many sexually active young people believe that they are “invincible” or exempt from risk. “For those who report being sexually active but say they have not been tested, not believing themselves to be at risk (64%) is the most often reason given for not doing so.”
  3. According to NYHAAD founding organization Advocates for Youth, 63 percent of millennials believe that the government should spend more money on HIV research, treatment, and prevention. Advocates for Youth also reports that half of millennials expressed a desire for more information on HIV/AIDS, and just under half of millennials said that HIV was a serious problem for someone they know.

If these statistics took you by surprise, consider taking action for NYHAAD: follow the #NHYAAD hashtag on Twitter and check out the CDC’s Get Yourself Tested campaign.

Brianna Suslovic is a youth advocate for reproductive justice and is currently in her senior year at Harvard College. Learn more about Brianna on her website and connect with her on Twitter.

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