HIV Among Youth and Young Adults
- 850-595-6500 x1505
Fairfield Service Center, 1295 West Fairfield Drive, Pensacola, Florida 32501
In 2019, there were 37,832 new HIV diagnoses in the United States. 20% of those new cases were youth and young adults between the ages of 13–24.
Of the 37,832 new cases in the United States 4,584 were diagnosed in the state of Florida.
In Escambia County, 1 in 4 new HIV cases were diagnosed among persons aged 13-24.
Most of those cases were among young gay and bisexual men.
Youth and young adults who don’t know they have HIV cannot get the care and treatment they need to stay healthy. 3 out of 7 youth and young adults did not know they had the HIV virus when they got tested.
Several challenges, including stigma, make it difficult for youth and young adults to access the tools they need to reduce their risk or get treatment and care if they have HIV.
Common trends among persons aged 13 to 24 are:
Low rates of HIV testing – the absence of holistic education about sex, its risks and sexual health limits youths’ abilities to make good health choices when it comes to sex and disease prevention.
Socioeconomic Challenges – Among people with HIV, younger people are more likely than older people to be living in households with low income levels, to have been recently homeless, recently incarcerated, or uninsured. These factors pose barriers to achieving viral suppression. Youth and young adult access to HIV care, retention in care and reaching viral suppression is substantially lower than their older adult counterparts.
Low rate of PrEP use – Young people are less likely than adults to use medicine to prevent HIV. Barriers include cost, access, perceived stigma, and privacy concerns.
High Rates of other STDs – Some of the highest STD rates are among persons aged 20 to 24. Having another STD can greatly increase the chance of getting or transmitting HIV.
How can you protect yourself?
Talk with your partner. Decide together to be abstinent, always use condoms, only have sex with each other. Talk about your risk for HIV.
Be abstinent. Not having vaginal, anal, or oral sex is the only sure way to be safe from HIV.
Avoid alcohol and other drugs. These things affect judgement and can lead to unsafe sex.
Use condoms. The Health Department offers free bags of condoms at the front information desk. No questions asked.
Get tested if you decide to have sex. 3 out of 7 persons aged 13-24 were unaware of their infection status. Getting tested is the only way to know for sure.
Have Questions? Want to talk to someone in confidence?
Calll 850-595-6500 ext. 1410, 1412, or 1503.