Prevention efforts working, targeted education needed to show declines in all communities
MINNEAPOLIS, May 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to statistics released by the Minnesota Department of Health, 292 confirmed new cases of HIV were reported in Minnesota during 2011. The 292 new cases represent a 12 percent decline from 2010 and are the lowest number of new cases seen since 2003. The Minnesota AIDS Project, the leading source for HIV information and services in Minnesota, believes that this data demonstrates that HIV prevention and education methods are effectively reaching target populations of individuals at the greatest risk of transmission.
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 92 percent of new cases. In addition, all racial/ethnic male populations saw a decrease in cases except African born men, who saw a 31 percent increase. And women of color continue to be at risk, with women of color accounting for 81 percent of new cases among women. These statistics demonstrate that there is still a great deal of work to be done to show declines in all communities. Education, outreach and testing continue to play a critical role in reducing the risk of transmission.
Connected to HIV transmission rates is a trend in early syphilis cases seen among gay and bisexual men. This increase over the last ten years indicates the need for additional behavioral interventions and educational campaigns in the state.
"While the decrease in new HIV cases in the state is encouraging and shows that our prevention efforts are working, the steady increase among gay and bisexual men of all races as well as the co-infection rates with syphilis demonstrates that our work is not complete," said Bill Tiedemann, executive director of the Minnesota AIDS Project. "The prevention, testing and education efforts of the Minnesota AIDS Project are a critical piece of a community wide effort of stopping HIV. But we'll need to continue to invest in risk reduction programs that target those at the greatest risk of infection."
For additional information, contact Melissa Conway at 612-373-9164 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summary: HIV prevention and education methods are effectively reaching target populations of individuals at the greatest risk of transmission. There is still a great deal of work to be done to show declines 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.
Contact: Melissa Conway
SOURCE Minnesota AIDS Project