Today, December 1st, is the 23rd annual World AIDS Day. The purpose of the annual event is to call attention to the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic across the globe.
There are an estimated 33.4 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS. Here in Minnesota, there are more than 6,500. The Minnesota Department of Health reports there were 370 new cases in the state last year, up 13 percent from the previous year and representing the highest increase in 17 years. The increase, according to the Department of Health, was primarily driven by a jump in HIV infections among males ages 15-24, which is consistent with national trends.
HIV remains highly preventable and public awareness and free testing events are going on across the state. For more information about HIV/AIDS prevention and where to obtain free testing, go to the Minnesota Aids Project website
or call 800-248-AIDS.