Youth HIV Statistics & Facts

Young people ages 13-24 in the United States (U.S.) have never known a world without HIV; one in five HIV infections occur in individuals between these ages. Despite HIV always being a part of their lives, youth today may not be aware of the most up-to-date facts on how HIV affects them and their peers. The latest HIV statistics from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that HIV is still affecting all youth. When preparing presentations on the impact HIV is having on youth, consider including some of the following facts.

U.S. Youth HIV Statistics

Despite ongoing prevention efforts since HIV was identified in 1983, it remains an issue for adolescents. Almost half of youth ages 18-24 living with HIV in the U.S. do not know they are infected. In 2014, young people ages 13-24 accounted for 22% of the approximately 44,000 new HIV infections in the U.S. The rate of HIV diagnoses in youth 13-24 years of age was highest in the 20- to 24-year-old age group (81%). In addition, youth with HIV are the least likely of any age group to be linked to care.

Youth HIV Facts

Almost half of youth ages 18-24 living with HIV in the U.S. do not know they are infected.
Source: 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Youth Race and Gender Statistics

These age-related statistics broken down by race and gender are also interesting to consider. It helps young people better understand how the epidemic impacts people like them. 

  • Of all new HIV infections among youth in the U.S., young Black males accounted for an estimated 48%, young Hispanic/Latino males 20%, and young White males 15%.
  • Of all new HIV infections among youth in the U.S., young Black females accounted for an estimated 8%, young Hispanic/Latino females 2%, and young White females 2%.
  • Of all new HIV infections among youth in the U.S., gay and bisexual males accounted for an estimated 80%. Of those newly diagnosed gay and bisexual males, young Black males accounted for an estimated 55%, Hispanic/Latino males 23%, and White males 16%.

Estimated New HIV Diagnoses Among Youth Aged 13-24 in the U. S. by Race/Ethnicity and Sex, 2014

*Sub-populations representing 2% or less of the overall U.S. epidemic are not represented in this chart

Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2014HIV Surveillance Report 2015;26.

Young Men Having Sex with Men

Most new HIV infections in youth occur among gay and bisexual males. From 2005 to 2014, there was an 87% increase in HIV diagnoses among Black and Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men ages 18-24 and 56% increase among white gay and bisexual men ages 13-24.

To learn more about what puts youth at risk, visit our HIV Risk Factors page.

Page last updated: August 2018