Column: Health

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Older female teenagers who applied for admission to the U.S. military between 1985 and 1989 were more likely to test positive for the virus that causes aids than were male applicants of the same age, a new study reports.

The study, which appeared in the April 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed the results of blood tests administered to the 1.1 million adolescent applicants to the military between October 1985 and March 1989. Since October 1985, military applicants of all ages have routinely been tested for the human immunodeficiency virus.

According to the study, conducted by researchers who work for the military, males and females were almost equally likely to test positive for the virus. It found that the nearly 1 million male adolescent applicants tested positive at a rate of .35 per 1,000, and that the 150,000 female adolescent applicants tested positive at a rate of .32 per 1,000.

But among 17- and 18-year old applicants, females were more likely than males to test positive. And black females, the study found, were four times as likely as white males to test positive.

These statistics "are in sharp contrast to the 9.3:1 ratio of males to females among adult aids cases, and the 4:1 ratio among reported adolescent aids cases," the authors wrote.

The most plausible reason for this discrepancy, the study said, is that older female teenagers are more likely than adolescent males to have older, infected sexual partners.

Another study in the same issue of jama concluded that elementary-school workers, child-care workers, and cafeteria personnel run an increased risk of contracting human parvovirus B19.

Symptoms of infection with the virus include pain in the joints, swelling, fever, and a rash. In pregnant women, it has also been linked to fetal death.

The study, conducted by researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and public-health officials in Connecticut, was based on the examination of 571 workers in Torrington, Conn., during a large outbreak among children of a rash known to be caused by parvovirus.

Almost 60 percent of the people in the study had antibodies indicating previous infection, which meant they were not susceptible to the virus. But susceptible workers were four to nine times more likely to develop symptoms than were other community members.

Despite this increased risk, an accompanying editorial said, "One may reassure concerned women that careful hygiene will probably reduce the risk of infection, that they are most likely immune, and that, even when pregnancy is complicated by infection, most often there will be no ill effects."--ef

Vol. 09, Issue 31

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Student Engagement Lessons from 3 Successful Districts

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >