OPEN MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report | 23 Feb 2018
MCB Ocfemia, R Dunville, T Zhang, LC Barrios and AM Oster
In 2014, persons aged 13-29 years represented 23% of the U.S. population, yet accounted for 40% of diagnoses of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection during the same year (1). During 2010-2014, the rates of diagnosis of HIV infection decreased among persons aged 15-19 years, were stable among persons aged 20-24 years, and increased among persons aged 25-29 years (1). However, these 5-year age groups encompass multiple developmental stages and potentially mask trends associated with the rapid psychosocial changes during adolescence through young adulthood. To better understand HIV infection among adolescents aged 13-17 years and young adults aged 18-29 years in the United States and identify ideal ages to target primary HIV prevention efforts, CDC analyzed data from the National HIV Surveillance System (NHSS)* using narrow age groups. During 2010-2014, rates of diagnosis of HIV infection per 100,000 population varied substantially among persons aged 13-15 years (0.7), 16-17 years (4.5), 18-19 years (16.5), and 20-21 years (28.6), and were higher, but less variable, among persons aged 22-23 years (34.0), 24-25 years (33.8), 26-27 years (31.3), and 28-29 years (28.7). In light of the remarkable increase in rates between ages 16-17, 18-19, and 20-21 years, and a recent study revealing that infection precedes diagnosis for young persons by an average of 2.7 years (2), these findings demonstrate the importance of targeting primary prevention efforts to persons aged <18 years and continuing through the period of elevated risk in their mid-twenties.
* Data courtesy of Altmetric.com