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Trends in HIV/AIDS Diagnoses Among Men Who Have Sex with Men

Vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse place young people at risk for HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Vaginal intercourse carries the additional risk of pregnancy. In the United States

  • In 2007, 48% of high school students had ever had sexual intercourse, and 15% of high school students had had four or more sex partners during their life.1
  • In 2007, 39% of currently sexually active high school students did not use a condom during last sexual intercourse.1
  • In 2002, 11% of males and females aged 15-19 had engaged in anal sex with someone of the opposite sex; 3% of males aged 15-19 had had anal sex with a male.2
  • In 2002, 55% of males and 54% of females aged 15-19 had engaged in oral sex with someone of the opposite sex.2
  • In 2006, an estimated 5,259 young people aged 13-24 in the 33 states reporting to CDC were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, representing about 14% of the persons diagnosed that year.3
  • Each year, there are approximately 19 million new STD infections, and almost half of them are among youth aged 15 to 24.4
  • In 2002, 12% of all pregnancies, or 757,000, occurred among adolescents aged 15-19.5

In addition, young people in the United States use alcohol and other drugs at high rates.6 Adolescents are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors, such as unprotected sex, when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.7 In 2007, 23% of high school students who had sexual intercourse during the past three months drank alcohol or used drugs before last sexual intercourse.1

Abstinence from vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse is the only 100% effective way to prevent HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy. The correct and consistent use of a male latex condom can reduce the risk of STD transmission , including HIV infection.8,9 However, no protective method is 100% effective, and condom use cannot guarantee absolute protection against any STD or pregnancy.

HIV/STD prevention education should be developed with the active involvement of parents, be locally determined, and consistent with community values. It should address the needs of youth who are not engaging in sexual intercourse and youth who are currently sexually active, while ensuring that all youth are provided with effective education to protect themselves and others from HIV/STD infection now and lifelong.

HIV/AIDS Among YouthHIV/AIDS Among Youth

HIV/AIDS Among YouthHow CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health is Addressing HIV, Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Pregnancy Prevention [pdf 1.6MB]

Data & Statistics

School Health Policies and Programs Study
SHPPS is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and programs at the state, district, school, and classroom levels, including those related to sexual behaviors.

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System
The YRBSS monitors behaviors that contribute markedly to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth and adults in the United States.

More Epidemiological Data on adolescents and sexual risk behaviors:

Science-based Strategies

See Sexual Behaviors: School Health Guidelines, developed to help school personnel and others plan, implement, and evaluate educational efforts to prevent HIV infection.

Registries of Programs Effective in Reducing Youth Risk Behaviors. Various federal agencies have identified youth-related programs that they consider worthy of recommendation based on expert opinion or a review of design and research evidence. These programs focus on different health topics, risk behaviors, and settings, including HIV/AIDS prevention.

National, State, and Local Programs

CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) supports the development and implementation of effective health promotion policies and programs that address priority health risks among youth. See DASH-funded state, territorial, and local agencies and tribal governments and national nongovernmental organizations.


  1. CDC. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance桿nited States, 2007 [pdf 1m]. Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report 2008;57(SS-4):1�1.
  2. Mosher W, Chandra A, Jones J. Sexual behavior and selected health measures: men and women 15-44 years of age, United States, 2002. Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics September 15, 2005; Number 362:21-26.
  3. CDC. HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, 2006.  Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2008;18:11.
  4. Weinstock H, Berman S, Cates W. Sexually transmitted diseases among American youth: Incidence and prevalence estimates, 2000. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 2004;36(1):6-10.
  5. Ventura SJ, Abma JC, Mosher WD, Henshaw SK. Recent trends in teenage pregnancy in the United States, 1990-2002. Health E-stats. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Released December 13, 2006.
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2003 National Survey on Drug Use & Health.
  7. Leigh B, Stall R. Substance use and risky sexual behavior for exposure to HIV: issues in methodology, interpretation, and prevention. American Psychologist 1993;48:1035�43.
  8. CDC. Male Latex Condoms and Sexually Transmitted Diseases [pdf 115K]. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; January 2003.
  9. Crosby RA, DiClemente RJ, Wingood GM, et al. Condom failure among adolescents: implications for STD prevention. Journal of Adolescent Health 2005;36:534-536.

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Page last reviewed: May 22, 2007
Page last modified: September 23, 2008
Content source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Adolescent and School Health

Division of Adolescent and School Health
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Department of Health and Human Services