New cases of HIV decline in Minn., but experts still worryby Matt Sepic, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — There were fewer new cases of HIV in Minnesota last year, but Minnesota health officials worry about its prevalence among young adults and minorities.
The state health department reported Tuesday that there were 331 new HIV cases in 2010. That's an 11 percent decline from 2009.
However, Kathleen Corley with the Minnesota AIDS project said this one-time dip does not reverse a 10-year trend of rising infection rates.
Corley said the people most at risk for infection continue to be young gay men as well as African-American and African-born people.
"When you look at the fact that 50 percent of new infections are in communities of color, who only make up 12 percent of Minnesota's population, that's a wake-up call," Corley said. "We have to figure out how we're going to get into those communities of color, working with others, working differently, doing something."
Corley said new infections among young gay and bisexual men are just as worrying. She said many are too young to remember the bad old days of the 1980s.
"People aren't dying anymore, so it's easy to sort of forget that HIV is still out there," she said. "People are still getting really sick from HIV and other complications from HIV."
Corley said reaching African immigrant communities is especially difficult because of cultural and language barriers.