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Adolescents represent a population at high risk of contracting HIV. There are approximately 40,000 new cases each year, half of which occur in people under age 25 who were infected sexually. Since the symptoms of HIV often take 10 years to surface, it is suspected many in this group were infected while they were teens.

The developmental stage and behavior patterns of many teens may make them particularly vulnerable to HIV infection. It seems that while a large number of teens are sexually active, many are unaware or do not take precautions to prevent HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. In many health education classes and programs efforts are being made to effectively educate young teens about safer sexual practices that can prevent the spread of disease, including HIV.

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