Roughly 20 percent of youth who have had HIV since birth did not know their HIV status when they first became sexually active, according to a study by a National Institutes of Health-supported research network.

 

'

Roughly 20 percent of youth who have had HIV since birth did not know their HIV status when they first became sexually active, according to a study by a National Institutes of Health-supported research network.

 

The study also found that, of those youth who knew they had HIV and who were asked about disclosure of their HIV status to their first sexual partners, most reported that they had not told their partner prior to sexual activity.

 

Moreover, most of these sexually active youth reported some sexual activity without condom use.

 

The study authors recommend that families and caregivers inform children about their HIV status before they reach adolescence and become sexually active. The authors also urge physicians and other health care providers to make sure that youth living with HIV understand the importance of safer sex practices and of disclosing HIV status to prospective partners. The study authors called for additional studies to identify the most effective methods for helping youth with HIV adhere to recommendations for safer sex practices.'