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In 2011, youth ages 13 through 14 accounted for 23% of new HIV cases in North Carolina.   Alarmingly, the cohort with the highest percentage of new HIV cases in 2011 was among ages 20 through 24 who accounted for 17% of the new HIV cases.  The next highest affected cohort was among ages 25 through 29 coming in at 14% of the new HIV cases.  Despite the drop in new HIV cases across the different age cohorts between 2010 and 2011, the age range 20 through 24 still accounted for 17% of new HIV case in North Carolina.  In fact, the number of new HIV cases from 2010 to 2011 increased for the cohort 20 through 24 year olds.

In 2010, of the 499,846 first time freshmen enrolled in Higher Education, 62.8 % of them were between the ages of 18 through 24. Currently there is no data tracking the number of LGBT identified people between the ages of 18 through 24 year attending higher education in North Carolina.  Also, there is no data specifically tracking the number of new HIV cases among those in higher education in North Carolina.   These statistics provide a compelling reason to focus on HIV/AIDS awareness that specifically target people between the ages of 18 and 24 in places they gather, such as college campuses.

On possible solution is to require Freshmen and Transfer students to take a course in Comprehensive Health Education that covers in depth HIV and STDs, Contraception and Abstinence, Healthy Relationships and Communication and Rape, being inclusive of both straight and LGBT College  students.

Sources: (North Carolina 2011 HIV/STD Surveillance Report, Report Compiled by: N.C. Division of Public Health, N.C. Department of Health & Human Services, http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/stds/figures.html)

(Statistical Abstract of Higher Education in North Carolina, 2010-11, Report Compiled by: Daphne Dow, Social Research Associate Institutional Research and Analysis UNC General Administration, http://www.northcarolina.edu/reports/index.php)

 

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