Monday, April 17, 2006

African immigrant, American black and Latino populations continue to have higher HIV infection rates than whites in Minnesota

Associated Press:

The number of new cases of HIV/AIDS held nearly steady from 2004 to 2005 at about 300, according to a reported released Monday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

There were 304 new cases diagnosed in 2005, nearly identical to the 307 cases diagnosed in 2004. Health officials said they have seen about 300 new cases annually each year for the past 10 years.

In a news release, Kip Beardsley, director of the sexually transmitted disease section at the department, said some communities continue to be harder hit than others.

Although gay or bisexual men represent 5 percent of the state's population, they account for about 60 percent of the state's HIV/AIDS cases, the department reported.

"These factors make it very clear that there is an ongoing need for prevention and testing services for gay and bisexual men," Beardsley said in a prepared statement.

The department said that African immigrant, American black and Latino populations continue to have higher infection rates than whites.

One bright spot in the report was the declining infection rates among intravenous drug users. There were only three new cases in 2005, which followed a trend of 13 new cases a year for the previous three years.

Beardsley credited the decline to community based organizations that work with drug users.

Since the Health Department began tracking AIDS in 1982 and HIV in 1985, 7,824 cases have been reported and 2,772 people have died of the disease, the department said.

The department said that latex condoms, when used correctly, are highly effective in preventing transmission of the disease. The department also stressed that people should not share needles or tattoo equipment.

HIV/AIDS Surveillance Reports - 2005

City, state top docs speak to Black AIDS crisis

Experts: Blacks’ High HIV Rates Due to Poor Care and Unsafe Sex

U.S. HIV Cases Soaring Among Black Women

HIV testing for blacks is a unifying mission

Study: Pattern of HIV infections shows blacks bearing the brunt

Focusing “Down Low”: Bisexual Black Men, HIV Risk and Heterosexual Transmission


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