Attention has increasingly been focused on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) among adolescents. In the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, adolescents received less attention than younger children and adults. This was due at least in part to the fact that most of the early knowledge of the AIDS epidemic came from AIDS case reporting. Since adolescents 13 to 19 years old comprise less than 1% of all people with AIDS, the risk of HIV infection in this group appeared minimal relative to the pediatric (less than 13 years) and adult populations. However, for purposes of prevention and care, adolescents are a unique and important group to highlight. Adolescence is a time when sexual behavior and drug use patterns are developing: clearly it is a critical time to have an impact on those behavior patterns. Also, there is a growing recognition that adolescents may be a group at considerable risk for HIV infection.1 1 However, information about this group is still limited. Many gaps in our knowledge remain, limiting our ability to provide appropriate health and social services and prevention efforts for the adolescent population. We will review the epidemiology of HIV infection and AIDS among adolescents and examine factors that place adolescents at risk and the current research needs related to these areas.
- Toxin syndromes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases