Summary:To describe HIV infection prevalence and prevalence trends for disadvantaged out-of-school youth in the United States, we analyzed the HIV prevalence for and demographic characteristics of youth, aged 16 through 21 years, who entered the U.S. Job Corps from January 1990 through December 1996. Job Corps is a federally funded jobs training program for socially and economically disadvantaged out-of-school youth. All 357,443 entrants residing at Job Corps centers during their training were tested for HIV infection; 822 (2.3 per 1000) were HIV-positive. HIV prevalence was higher for women than for men (2.8 per 1000 versus 2.0 per 1000; relative risk [RR] = 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2-1.6). Among racial/ethnic groups, prevalence was highest for African Americans (3.8 per 1000). Prevalence was higher for African American women (4.9 per 1000) than for any other gender and racial/ethnic group. From 1990 through 1996, standardized HIV prevalence—stratified by age, race/ethnicity, home region, population of home metropolitan statistical area, and year of entry—declined for women and for men: for women, from 4.1 per 1000 in 1990 to 2.1 per 1000 in 1996 (p = .001); and for men, from 2.8 per 1000 in 1990 to 1.4 per 1000 in 1996 (p = .001). These data suggest that HIV prevalence for disadvantaged out-of-school youth declined from 1990 through 1996. However, considering their youth, prevalence was still high, particularly for women and African Americans, most notably African American women. These data support the need for ongoing HIV prevention programs targeting such youth.
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Manuscript received October 15, 1997, accepted April 15, 1998.
© 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.