December 1st is World AIDS Daythisis an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV. Despite 30 years of fighting the disease, young people are still becoming the most infected at such high rates.
According Vital Signs report from the CDC. Young people between the ages of 13 and 24 represent more than a quarter of new HIV infections each year (26 percent). Most of the youth living with HIV (60 percent) are unaware they are infected.
Young gay and bisexual men and African-Americans represent the group of young people who are most-affected, the report says. In 2010, 72 percent of estimated new HIV infections in young people occurred in young men who have sex with men (MSM). By race/ethnicity, 57 percent of estimated new infections in this age group were in African Americans, the report shows.
The sad news is that most never get tested because of social and economic factors, such as poverty, lack of access to health care, the stigma of being gay or bisexual, and discrimination, the report says.
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 hit harder by HIV than their peers, the report shows.
Fenton told NewsOne in a separate interview. “There are lots of complexities around the epidemic, but that will not prevent us from doing a good job. We are ensuring that all Americans have information. It’s critical to reach all young people to inform them about HIV, how to practice safe sex, and how to get tested. The CDC has been doing a lot of work in this space.”