Michael Carter for Aidsmap (16 September 2010)
Almost 50% of sexually experienced HIV-positive adolescents surveyed in the United States had had unprotected sex since learning of their diagnosis, investigators report in an advance online publication in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
Many of the girls had been pregnant, and few disclosed their HIV status to their sex partners.
The study included 13 to 21 year olds who had been infected with HIV at birth, or who had acquired HIV through sex.
“These 2 groups have a common need for prevention services, including assistance with serostatus disclosure and condom negotiation skills”, comment the investigators.
“Nearly half of the sexually experienced adolescents had engaged in unprotected sex since learning that they had HIV”, write the investigators. They add, “over half of their recent sex partners had been exposed to HIV through unprotected sex…moreover, few recent sex partners had been told that their partners were HIV-positive.”
The investigators conclude that HIV-positive adolescents have a “strong” need for targeted HIV prevention, and believe that their findings “can be used in planning effective interventions needed for this young population of HIV patients.”
Sexual transmission risk behavior of adolescents with HIV acquired perinatally or through risk behaviors.
Koenig, Linda J; Pals, Sherri L; Chandwani, Sulachni; Hodge, Krystal; Abramowitz, Susan; Barnes, William; D'Angelo, Lawrence
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, published on line in advance 2010 doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181f0ccb6
Link to JAIDS abstract