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Why is human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission increasing?

Studies have identified disturbing increases in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among young gay men and high-risk adolescents. Health officials believe this may be because of over-optimism about HIV treatment; further, relaxed attitudes about using barrier protection have health officials worried.

This relaxed attitude toward prevention has led to an upswing in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases in this younger age group over the past few years. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), young people age 13 to 24 made up an estimated 21% of all new HIV infections in 2013. The numbers are driven in part by a dramatic increase in HIV infection in young men having sex with men. More than half of youth with HIV do not know they're infected.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.