Human immunodeficiency virus-infected adolescents: The first 50 patients in a New York City program

D. Futterman, K. Hein, N. Reuben, R. Dell, N. Shaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

To address the unique manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among adolescents aged 13 through 21 years, a comprehensive evaluation and treatment program for high-risk and HIV-positive adolescents was developed in New York City in 1987. Among HIV-infected youth, mean age of testing was 18.2 years. One third of the HIV-positive patients were female and four fifths were African-American or Hispanic. No significant differences were found between HIV-positive (n = 50) and HIV-negative (n = 43) patients for age at first intercourse, injecting or other illicit drug use, history of sexually transmitted diseases, or survival sex (exchange of sex for money or drugs). HIV-positive males were more likely than HIV-negative males to have engaged in anal intercourse and to report a history of sexual abuse. Among infected females, 82% acquired HIV through heterosexual intercourse. Almost half (48%) of HIV-positive adolescents had significant immune dysfunction at the time of their initial visit (CD4 <500/mm3) and were eligible for zidovudine. Many HIV-positive adolescents continued high-risk behaviors such as intercourse without condoms, particularly those with ongoing dependence on drugs or alcohol. With the epidemic of HIV infection increasing nationwide among adolescents, specialized, comprehensive programs are needed to counsel and treat HIV-infected adolescents and youth in high-risk situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)730-735
Number of pages6
JournalPediatrics
Volume91
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

Keywords

  • acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • adolescence
  • epidemiology
  • heterosexuality
  • homosexuality
  • human immunodeficiency virus
  • sexual abuse
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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