Health Officials: New HIV Cases Up 2 Percent In 2014
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – New numbers from the Department of Health show that the percentage of HIV diagnoses in Minnesota ticked up slightly in 2014, with most cases being reported in the Twin Cities metro and among minority communities.
Heath officials said Thursday that there were 307 new cases reported last year, compared to 300 cases reported in 2013. That's an increase of 2 percent.
"Although we saw a slight increase in the overall HIV case reports, some of our communities are carrying a much heavier burden of HIV disease," Dr. Ed Ehlinger, the Minnesota Commissioner of Health, said in a press release.
The Twin Cities metro area saw 86 percent of last year's new cases, the Health Department said. More than one in three of the new cases were reported in people younger than 30, and minority communities experienced much high infection rates when compared with the white, non-Hispanic population.
Male-to-male sex was the main risk factor for men, making up 67 percent of new HIV cases in males, the Health Department said. Young men, ages 20 to 29, made up 31 percent of all new cases in men last year.
Infection cases from intravenous drug use remain low.
Health officials say HIV is highly preventable if sexually active people practice safe sex with condoms and keep an eye on their number of sexual partners.
"Get tested for HIV if you are sexually active and get into treatment if you are infected," the health commissioner said. "Those in treatment can substantially reduce their likelihood of transmitting HIV to sexual partners."
The Health Department estimates that nearly 8,000 people with HIV/AIDS are living in Minnesota.
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