Substantial Variation in HIV Diagnoses Among Persons Aged 13 to 29 Years

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graph and pen
Findings underscore the importance of using a multifaceted approach and targeting primary prevention efforts to persons aged

From 2010 to 2014, Blacks/African Americans, men who have sex with men, and persons residing in the southern United States accounted for the highest number and rate of HIV diagnoses in the nation, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis of the National HIV Surveillance System published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Using data from the National HIV Surveillance System, the CDC evaluated patient data of adolescents aged 13 to 17 years and young adults aged 18 to 29 years who were diagnosed with HIV from 2010 to 2014. A total of 78,337 individuals aged between 13 to 29 years had received a diagnosis of HIV during the study period.

There was substantial variation in HIV diagnoses between age groups during 2010 to 2014, specifically among those aged 13 to 15 years (rate, 0.7), 16 to 17 years (rate, 4.5), 18 to 19 years (rate, 16.5), and 20 to 21 years (rate, 28.6). Among individuals aged 22 to 23 years (rate, 34.0), 24 to 25 years (rate, 33.8), 26 to 27 years (rate, 31.3), and 28 to 29 years (rate, 28.7), rates were the highest and the least variable. Blacks/African Americans had the highest number and HIV diagnosis rates (40,755 [52.0%] and 390.6 per 100,000 population, respectively), with Hispanics/Latinos being the second-most affected population (17,386 [22.2%] and 113.1 per 100,000 population, respectively).

The majority of HIV infections among the 66,471 males included in the analysis had an infection attributable to male-to-male sexual contact (89.7%), with men between the ages of 22 and 23 years representing the most affected group (20.6%). Conversely, the majority of females with an HIV diagnosis had an infection attributable to heterosexual contact (88.2%), with those aged 26 to 27 and 28 to 29 years having the highest number of HIV diagnoses (18.1% and 18.2%, respectively). According to region, persons residing the South accounted for the greatest rate and number of HIV diagnoses (40,667 [51.9%] and 148.2 per 100,000 population, respectively).

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Because of the considerable delay associated with HIV diagnosis, the data presented in this analysis represent only those individuals who were diagnosed with the infection, rather than the total number of people actually infected with HIV.

For effective HIV prevention strategies in young individuals, the investigators of this analysis emphasis the importance of “a multifaceted approach that incorporates the educational, social, policy, and health care systems [that] can help support youths as they transition from adolescence into young adulthood.”


Ocfemia MCB, Dunville R, Zhang T, Barrios LC, Oster AM. HIV diagnoses among persons aged 13-29 years – United States, 2010-2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67(7):212-215.