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Teenagers at Risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Infection:  Results From Seroprevalence Surveys in the United States

Patricia Sweeney, MPH; Mary Lou Lindegren, MD; James W. Buehler, MD; Ida M. Onorato, MD; Robert S. Janssen, MD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(5):521-528. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170180051007.
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Objective:  To describe the seroprevalence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and risk factors for HIV-1 infection among teenagers attending selected clinics.

Design:  Anonymous, cross-sectional serosurveys conducted in 130 clinics in 24 cities.

Settings:  Adolescent medicine clinics, sexually transmitted disease clinics, clinics in juvenile detention and correctional facilities, and homeless and runaway youth centers.

Patients:  Teenagers in whom serum samples were drawn as part of routine medical services.

Main Outcome Measures:  Prevalence of HIV-1 infection and reported HIV risk behaviors.

Results:  From January 1, 1990 through December 31, 1992, serum specimens were collected from 79 802 teenagers; 591 of these specimens were positive for HIV-1 antibody. Seropositive test results were found in all 24 cities surveyed, and in 95 (73%) of the 130 clinics surveyed. The median clinic-specific prevalence was 0.2% (range, 0% to 1.4%) in 22 adolescent medicine clinics, 0.3% (range, 0% to 6.8%) in 33 correctional facilities, 0.5% (range, 0% to 3.5%) in 70 sexually transmitted disease clinics, and 1.1% (range, 0% to 4.1%) in five homeless youth centers. Rates exceeded 1% in 37 sites (28%). Excluding sites with many men reporting sex with men, rates in women were similar or somewhat higher than rates in men. Rates were highest among young men reporting sex with men, with clinic rates ranging from 16% to 17% in two homeless youth sites and 13% to 17% in two sexually transmitted disease clinics. Most teenagers with risk information reported heterosexual activity as their only potential risk exposure to HIV-1.

Conclusions:  Seroprevalence of HIV was generally low but varied by type of clinic and geographic area. The highest rates were observed among young women and gay men in some settings, suggesting that targeted prevention messages are needed.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149:521-528)


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