MINNEAPOLIS, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to statistics released by the Minnesota Department of Health, 315 confirmed new cases of HIV were reported in Minnesota during 2012. The 315 new cases represent an 8 percent increase from 2011, which was the first year of decline in nearly a decade. 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 53 percent of new cases. The number of new cases of HIV among foreign-born men in Minnesota increased by 63 percent and represents the highest number of foreign-born cases newly diagnosed in the state since 2007. Women showed a decline of 19 percent in new cases, yet women of color continue to be impacted most dramatically, accounting for 82 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.
"It is disappointing to see an 8 percent increase in new infections in the state and especially to see the disproportionate impact among young gay and bisexual men of all races, African Americans and new immigrants," 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 to stop HIV in all communities. But we'll need to invest in and integrate prevention and intervention programs that target all communities that are at increased 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