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CDC: Thousands of young people unaware they have HIV

  • More than 12,000 new infections reported in 2010 in young people
  • 'We can and must achieve a generation that is free from HIV and AIDS,' doctor says
CDC: Thousands of young people unaware they have HIV

A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control suggests that more than half of young people infected with HIV don’t know they have it.

According to their research, an estimated 12,200 new infections were reported in individuals ranging from ages 13 to 24 in 2010. Nearly 60% of those people were unaware of their HIV positive status.

Young men that are gay, bisexual or African-American appear to be the hardest-hit each year, the report says. The CDC explains that overall, men having sex with other men tended to engage in riskier behavior – which includes use of injectable drugs or sex with more than four partners.

As noted by CNN, the Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS at the CDC, Dr. Kevin Fenton, writes, "We can and must achieve a generation that is free from HIV and AIDS. It will take a concerted effort at all levels across our nation to empower all young people, especially young gay and bisexual youth, with the tools and resources they need to protect themselves from HIV infection." 

The CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that everyone 15 and older receive HIV testing.

CNN Wires contributed to this report.

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