Objectives: The purpose of this study was to describe and compare risky behaviors in HIV-infected youths and adults.
Methods: Records of HIV-infected outpatients were reviewed for the period January 1990 to February 1998. Youths (younger than 22 years at HIV diagnosis and younger than 25 years at study entry, n = 139) were compared with adults (22 years or older at HIV diagnosis or 25 years or older at study entry, n = 2880). Risky behaviors occurring after HIV diagnosis included unsafe sex and needle sharing.
Results: Female and male youths were more than twice as likely as adults to engage in risky behavior (adjusted odds ratios of 2.6 and 2.3, respectively).
Conclusions: Both youths and adults continue to engage in risky behaviors after HIV diagnosis. Prospective studies are needed, along with targeted public health campaigns, for youths with HIV and for those at risk of infection.