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World AIDS Day -- December 1, 1998

"Be a force for change -- talk with young people about AIDS" is the theme designated by the Joint United Nations Program on Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) for this year's World AIDS Day, December 1, 1998. Approximately 30 million persons were living with HIV/AIDS by the beginning of 1998 (1). Many of them were infected as adolescents or young adults. In the United States, in areas with both AIDS and HIV infection reporting, 3% of persons with AIDS and 14% of those with HIV infection reported during January 1994-June 1997 were aged 13-24 years (2). Therefore, decreasing high-risk sexual and drug-using behaviors among teenagers and young adults should continue to be an important primary HIV prevention priority.

Information from 12 local and state health departments participating in the Supplement to HIV/AIDS Surveillance Project (3) indicates that many infected adolescents and young adults continue to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors (e.g., sexual intercourse without condoms and with multiple sex partners); however, some modify their behavior after learning they are infected (CDC, unpublished data, 1998).

Additional information about World AIDS Day and AIDS and HIV infection in teenagers and young adults is available from CDC's National AIDS Clearinghouse, telephone (800) 458-5231, and on the World-Wide Web,; CDC's National AIDS Hotline, telephone (800) 342-2437; and CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention World-Wide Web site,


  1. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. Report on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, June 1998.

  2. CDC. Diagnosis and reporting of HIV and AIDS in states with integrated HIV and AIDS surveillance -- United States, January 1994-June 1997. MMWR 1998;47:309-14.

  3. Buehler JW, Diaz T, Hersh BS, Chu SY. The Supplement to HIV/AIDS Surveillance Project: an approach for monitoring HIV risk behaviors. Public Health Rep 1996;111:134-7.

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