NMAC Praises Call to Screen All Sexually Active Adolescents for HIV
The following is a statement from National Minority AIDS Council Deputy Executive Director Daniel C. Montoya:
Washington, DC — “NMAC applauds the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) decision to urge all physicians to offer HIV screenings and risk counseling to all sexually active adolescent patients. Since 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended screening all individuals, age 13 to 64, regardless of risk factors. While stopping short of endorsing the CDC’s recommendations for universal screening, today’s policy statement by the AAP at least highlights the impact HIV has on young people and the importance of both educating them about how they can prevent infection as well as promoting screenings for all sexually active young adults 16 and older.
“HIV has had a tremendous impact on young people in the U.S., especially among young gay and bisexual men. According to recent CDC estimates, young men who have sex with men (MSM), aged 13 to 29, accounted for approximately 27 percent of all new HIV infections in the U.S. in 2009. Young people in general accounted for approximately 39 percent of new HIV infections. Because many don’t perceive themselves to be at risk for contracting HIV, many adolescents do not request HIV screenings and may not fully understand how the virus is transmitted and how to protect themselves from infection. Primary care physicians are often the only source of medical information and advice for young people, and it’s critical that they educate their patients early and often about the risks associated with HIV and how to make healthy choices for themselves and their partners.”
Contact: Kyle Murphy,(202) 483-6622 ext. 333