MINNEAPOLIS, May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to statistics released by the Minnesota Department of Health, 301 confirmed new cases of HIV were reported in Minnesota during 2013. The 301 new cases represent a 4 percent decrease from 2012. The Minnesota AIDS Project, the leading source for HIV information and services in Minnesota, believes that this data demonstrates the importance of HIV prevention, testing and comprehensive sex education.
The report also shows that certain communities continue to be hit harder by the disease than others, especially gay and bisexual men of all races who make up 62 percent of new cases. Women showed an increase of 22 percent in new cases, with women of color impacted most dramatically, accounting for 73 percent of new cases among women.
These statistics demonstrate that there is a great deal of work to be done to encourage all communities to know their status through testing and quickly connect to care when a positive diagnosis is received. Education, outreach and testing, combined with accessible health care, are all vital in reducing the risk of transmission.
"Although I'm happy to see a slight decrease in new HIV infections, I am disheartened that gay and bisexual men of all races, women of color and new immigrants continue to be so disproportionately impacted by HIV," said Bill Tiedemann, executive director of the Minnesota AIDS Project.
The prevention, testing, education, and connection to health care provided by the Minnesota AIDS Project are a critical piece of a community wide effort to stop HIV in all communities. "To further this downward trend, community level collaborations must continue to be strengthened and funding increased for targeted and effective prevention and testing initiatives throughout Minnesota," continued Tiedemann.
The Minnesota AIDS Project, along with community partners, is currently working together to create a comprehensive statewide HIV prevention plan that is well resourced to make a difference in all communities at risk for infection.
Summary: HIV prevention and education methods, combined with testing and access to quality healthcare, are critical to reach target populations of individuals at the greatest risk of transmission. There is still a great deal of work to be done to prevent new infections in all communities. Education, outreach and testing continue to play a critical role in reducing the risk of transmission.
About Minnesota AIDS Project
The Minnesota AIDS Project's mission is to lead Minnesota's fight to stop HIV through prevention, advocacy, awareness, and services. www.mnaidsproject.org.
SOURCE Minnesota AIDS Project