July 30, 2009

Study: Pessimistic teens more susceptible to HIV/AIDS

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 during 8 years period, 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).

detailed information about the study is available on
Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics website

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