Health notes: Health Department urges early HIV testsEarly testing for HIV is a proven way of preventing the spread of the illness, a Minnesota health official said.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
Early testing for HIV is a proven way of preventing the spread of the illness, a Minnesota health official said.
That’s why the Minnesota Department of Health is emphasizing the availability of testing sites as World AIDS Day is observed on Saturday.
“New research is showing that early diagnosis and getting infected persons into treatment and care can prevent the spread of HIV — but many people are not being tested,” Peter Carr, director of the Health Department’s STD and HIV section, said in a news release.
An estimated 7,136 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota, and an average of 300 new infections are diagnosed each year, according to the Health Department.
About 90 percent of those cases are in the Twin Cities area, Carr said last month in explaining why an AIDS prevention program at Lutheran Social Service in Duluth received less than it had requested. He also said there wasn’t enough funding, in general, to go around.
Gay and bisexual men, other men who have sex with men, and men and women of color have disproportionate rates of HIV/AIDS, the news release said.
Among places where HIV testing is available in the Northland, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
To finding a testing site near you, go online to hivtest.cdc.gov.