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New CDC Vital Signs: HIV Among Youth

CDC’s latest Vital Signs Report shows more than half of young HIV-infected Americans are not aware of their status. Too many young people continue to become infected and few are tested for HIV.

  • Overall, an estimated 12,200 new HIV infections occurred in 2010 among young people aged 13-24, with young gay and bisexual men and African-Americans hardest hit.
  • Most youth living with HIV (60 percent) don’t know they are infected.
  • Few young people are tested for HIV – only 13 percent of high school students, and 35 percent of people aged 18-24, have been tested

Youth, particularly those at high risk, should be taught early about HIV prevention with information they can understand and use, including education about risks and skills to help delay sex and prevent HIV. Sexually active youth can reduce their risk by choosing to stop having sex, limiting their number of sex partners, not having sex with an older person who may be more likely to already have HIV, and using a condom every time. In addition, HIV testing is the first step to getting medical care and treatment that can improve health, save lives, and prevent the spread of HIV.

Contact 1-800-CDC-INFO or text Knowit on your cell phone or go to for more information and testing locations.

Selected Quotes

That so many young people become infected with HIV each year is a preventable tragedy. All young people can protect their health, avoid contracting and transmitting the virus, and learn their HIV status.
-CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.

We can and must achieve a generation that is free from HIV and AIDS. It will take a concerted effort at all levels across our nation to empower all young people, especially young gay and bisexual youth, with the tools and resources they need to protect themselves from HIV infection.
-Kevin Fenton, M.D., Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, CDC

Additional Resources

CDC works 24/7 saving lives and protecting people from health threats to have a more secure nation. Whether these threats are chronic or acute, manmade or natural, human error or deliberate attack, global or domestic, CDC is the U.S. health protection agency.

Contact Information

NCHHSTP Newsroom

Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH

Kevin Fenton, MD, PhD, FFPH


Vital Signs Infographic

Vital Signs Info graphic

Vital Signs Infographic

Vital Signs Infographic

New HIV infections among youths ages 13-24 year

New HIV infections among youths ages 13-24 year

More Graphics


  • Vital Signs – HIV Among Youth in the US: Protecting a Generation
    English | Spanish | PSA


HIV/AIDS 101 video

Author: National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitus, STD, and TB Prevention. Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
Date: 7/11/2012

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