Boston Happens Program
Am I really at risk for getting HIV?
You are always at risk for getting HIV/AIDS if you are having sex or sharing needles.
Having sex puts you at risk for HIV
- It doesn't matter if you are heterosexual ("straight"), homosexual ("gay") or bisexual ("bi") - anytime you have sex you are at risk of getting HIV/AIDS.
- You are at risk if you have ever had unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex. You are also at risk for getting HIV/AIDS if you ever had a condom break or slip off during sex.
- If your sexual partner has HIV or is at risk for HIV, you are also in danger of getting the disease.
- If you have had an STD (sexually transmitted disease)or have been sexually assaulted you are also at risk.
- Don't have sex while you are drunk or high since this puts you at a greater risk for getting HIV/AIDS.
- The only way to make sure you are not at risk for getting HIV/AIDS is to not have sex and not share needles. But if you do decide to have sex, always use a condom!
Sharing needles puts you at risk for HIV
- You are at risk for getting HIV/AIDS if you have ever shared needles or "works" to inject drugs or steroids.
- You are also at risk if you have ever shared needles for tattooing or piercing.
- The only way to make sure you are not at risk for getting HIV/AIDS is to not share needles and not have sex. But if you do decide to use needles, always use clean ones!
HIV affects millions of youth in the world
- HIV/AIDS has had a tremendous effect on tens of millions of people throughout the world. Get this - in 2006 there were 40 million people living with HIV in the world. And the sad part is that only 1.3 million of these people have access to treatment.1
- In 2005 there were approximately 14,000 new HIV infections every single day. Of these new infections, more than 1,900 were in children under age 15. 2
- In the world, young people, 15 to 24, account for over 40 percent of new adult HIV infections globally. 3 In fact, people under the age of 25 are estimated to account for half of all new HIV infections worldwide. 4
- During 2006, approximately 8.11 percent of newly infected people with HIV were children. 3
American youth are still getting HIV every day
- HIV/AIDS affects the lives of Americans of all ages, including young people. Thirteen new young people are diagnosed every day in the U.S. with HIV/AIDS- one new diagnosis every 108 minutes. 5
- Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic to 1994, approximately 944,306 AIDS cases were diagnosed in the United States. Of that number, more than 40,000 of the cases were among young people, 13 to 24. 5
- And in 2004, young people, 13 to 24, made up an estimated 13 percent (4,883) of newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases. 5
How are American youth still getting HIV/AIDS?
- While some young Americans get HIV/AIDS from sharing needles, most American youth are being infected sexually. 6
- And the numbers of young people having sex is growing and putting more of them at risk for the disease. In 2003, 47 percent of high school students have had sexual intercourse- 7.4 percent of them reported having their first sexual intercourse before age 13. 5
- While many young people are having sex earlier, most are not being tested for HIV/AIDS. Only 19 percent of teens, 15 to 19, report ever being tested for HIV. 6
- And many American young people are still not being educated on HIV/AIDS and how they can get it. In a KFF survey, 37 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds were unsure if they could get HIV from sharing a glass, kissing or touching a toilet seat. You cannot get HIV/AIDS from any of these. 6
Massachusetts youth are still getting HIV/AIDS
- HIV/AIDS continues to affect the Massachusetts community including its youth population. In 2005, there were 842 new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in Massachusetts (MA)- 2.3 people in MA received an HIV diagnosis every day. 7
- Fifty-nine new MA young people were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2005. 7
- In 2005, less than 1 percent of people diagnosed with HIV infection were under 13 years old, 7 percent of people in MA diagnosed with HIV were 13 to 24 years old. 7
- On December 31, 2005, 1 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS were under 13 years old, 2 percent were 13 to 24 years old and 3 percent were 25 to 29 years old in MA. 7
- More young females in MA were diagnosed with HIV infection than males in 2005- 11 percent of females, 13 to 24 years old, compared to 6 percent of males. 7
- On December 31, 2004, of people living with HIV/AIDS in MA, 1,446 (10 percent) were diagnosed with HIV infection at ages 13- to 24-years-old. 7
- Among individuals living with HIV/AIDS who were ages 13 to 24 years on December 31, 2004, 46 percent were female, compared to 28 percent of those age 25 years and older.
Sources for our statistics:
- kff.org (November 06, Fact Sheet #3030-08)
- CDC HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, 2004. Vol. 16. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC: 2005: 1 - 46.
- kff.org (September 06, Fact Sheet #3040-03)