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A pretest counselling session is recommended by the General Medical Council before carrying out an HIV test and it is generally accepted that adolescents deemed competent enough to understand the counselling process can have an HIV test without parental consent. A recent survey in the United Kingdom showed that 79% of clinics were prepared to test for HIV infection in children under the age of 16.1 We reviewed the characteristics of adolescents between the ages of 13 and 16 seen in the Coventry genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic for an HIV test between 1990 and 2000 (table 1). This was part of …