New Minnesota HIV/AIDS cases drop 11 percent in 2010

HIV infections are down in Minnesota.
HIV infections are down in Minnesota.

Last month the Minnesota Department of Health released some sobering numbers about the increase in reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases including chlamydia and syphilis.

Today, there's better news on a similar front: The number of new HIV/AIDS cases in Minnesota dropped 11 percent in 2010 compared to the year before, 331 compared to 390. About about 6,800 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota.

Here's how some of the stats break down compared to the past.

New HIV infections in Minnesota, by year. Click to enlarge.EXPAND
New HIV infections in Minnesota, by year. Click to enlarge.

MDH says that, historically, roughly 90 percent of all new HIV infections are concentrated in the seven-county Twin Cities region, although new infections have occurred in 90 percent of Minnesota's counties. This year, 88 percent of the new cases were reported in the Twin Cities--a slight decrease compared to the average.

The trend has shifted more when it comes to gender. In 1990, males accounted for 89 percent of new HIV infections. That rate dropped to 79 percent in 2010.

There's been a big swing in the number of infections among white males. After an all-time low of 101 reported cases between 1999 and 2000, the number has climbed precipitously, by 41 percent to 141 cases in 2010. When it comes to black men, the number of cases fell to 58 in 2010 compared to 64 in 2009, and an all-time high 78 in 1992.

Minnesota has the 15th-lowest HIV infection rate in the country. Click to enlarge.EXPAND
Minnesota has the 15th-lowest HIV infection rate in the country. Click to enlarge.

The most common way the disease is transmitted remains unprotected sex between two men. MDH reports that the number of new cases in that category reached a low of 130 in 2000. By 2010, the number had climbed steadily back up  to 178--68 percent of all infections.

Overall, Minnesota has an infection rate of roughly 4 people per 100,000 population--giving us the 15th-lowest rate nationally. Maryland, at 27.6 per 100,000, has the highest rate. South Dakota, at 1.4 per 100,000, has the lowest.

Read the full report here.

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