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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2008 Apr;10(2):109-15.

HIV in adolescents: what we know and what we need to know.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3440 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


HIV, the cause of AIDS, has infected more than 65 million people worldwide, including 1 million children. An estimated 39.5 million people are living with HIV. As of 2006, 4.3 million were newly infected, with 2.8 million occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. Rates of infection have risen more than 50% in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Mother-to-child transmission occurs rarely with antiretroviral treatments in the United States, and congenitally infected children are living to adulthood. HIV is now a "youth-driven disease" worldwide. In the United States, 40% of new HIV infections occur in individuals less than 25 years old, and HIV is the sixth-leading cause of death among adolescents. Young people with HIV/AIDS live with this chronic condition and its associated medical and psychological morbidities while coping with identity and maturation issues. In this paper, we review what we know about HIV and psychiatric disorders among adolescents.

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