Youth Who Believe They Will Die Young More Likely To Be Diagnosed With HIV/AIDS, Study Finds
Teenagers who believe that they will die at a young age are seven times more likely than optimistic teenagers to be diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in early adulthood, according to a study released on Monday and published in the July issue of Pediatrics, the AP/Los Angeles Times reports (AP/Los Angeles Times, 6/29). The study is based on a survey of 20,594 teenagers in grades seven through 12 who were interviewed between 1995 and 2002, which found that 14.7 percent of respondents said they had at least a 50/50 chance of dying before age 35. According to the Times, the findings challenge the belief that teenagers engage in risky behavior because they think they are invulnerable to harm. Instead, they might engage in such behavior "because they feel hopeless and figure that not much is at stake," Iris Borowsky, researcher at the University of Minnesota and author of the study, said (Tanner, Associated Press, 6/29). In related news, WYPR News recently reported on a summit in Baltimore that sought to raise HIV/AIDS awareness among teenagers and address prevention (Stukes, 6/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.