Minnesota observes national Native HIV/AIDS Day

Minneapolis, Minnesota (AP) March 2010

The Minnesota Health Department used national Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day during March to remind native Americans to protect themselves from the virus.

Nationally, American Indians have the third highest rate of new infections of ethnic groups, trailing African-Americans and Latinos.

The Health Department’s Peter Carr says there have been 200 cases of HIV infections reported among American Indians in Minnesota since the epidemic began. Eighty-two of them have died.

Carr says the department estimates there are nearly 110 native Americans currently living with HIV in the state.

He says native Americans, and others, should limit their sexual partners, practice safe sex, avoid sharing needles and get tested for the disease because early treatments result in better health.