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Am J Public Health. 2006 Jun;96(6):1091-7. Epub 2006 May 2.

Prevalence of HIV infection among young adults in the United States: results from the Add Health study.

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  • 1Department of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98125, USA.



We estimated HIV prevalence rates among young adults in the United States.


We used survey data from the third wave of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a random sample of nearly 19000 young adults initiated in 1994-1995. Consenting respondents were screened for the presence of antibodies to HIV-1 in oral mucosal transudate specimens. We calculated prevalence rates, accounting for survey design, response rates, and test performance.


Among the 13184 participants, the HIV prevalence rate was 1.0 per 1000 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.4, 1.7). Gender-specific prevalence rates were similar, but rates differed markedly between non-Hispanic Blacks (4.9 per 1000; 95% CI=1.8, 8.7) and members of other racial/ethnic groups (0.22 per 1000; 95% CI=0.00, 0.64).


Racial disparities in HIV in the United States are established early in the life span, and our data suggest that 15% to 30% of all cases of HIV occur among individuals younger than 25 years.

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