11/27/2012 11:20 pm ET Updated Nov 27, 2012

MTV's 'I'm Positive' Highlights Growing Youth HIV Infection Rates On World AIDS Day

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Research suggests young Americans live this scene at higher rates in 2012 -- about 30 years after America itself struggled to come to terms with it.

Featured in the video is Kelly, a 25-year-old Californian who tested positive at 23 years old. She's dating Aaron, who is HIV negative. MTV's "Its Your (Sex) Life" blog says they moved quickly into a relationship that's grown increasingly rocky. The next step is breaking up or staying together.

The hour-long special debutes on Dec. 1 at 7:00 E.S.T.-- World AIDS Day -- and follows two other individuals, who combine to represent what producers consider a representative cross-section of American youth with the disease.

While young viewers between the ages 13 and 24 are likely to bite their nails through the first 50 seconds of clip, they're also less likely to know they're infected -- 50 percent in this age group are aware of their status -- and make up 26 percent of all new HIV infections, according to the Center For Disease Control And Prevention.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC's director, told reporters earlier this week, "Given everything we know about HIV and how to prevent it in 30 years of fighting the disease, it's just unacceptable that young people are becoming infected at such high rates."

He said 1,000 young people in America become infected with HIV, an incurable infection that costs $400,000 to treat over a lifetime, each month. If left untreated, HIV infection leads to AIDS and early death.

A Day With HIV