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Published January 26, 2010, 03:13 PM

HIV Cases Increase in Minnesota

Hit 17-year high.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Health says the number of new HIV cases rose 13 percent in 2009, climbing to a 17-year high.

The department's preliminary report says there were 368 HIV cases reported last year, compared with 326 cases in 2008. HIV is an infection that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS.

The manager of the heath department's HIV/AIDS section, Peter Carr, says the increase is primarily among males 15 to 24 years old. Carr tells The Associated Press that while there's no concrete reason for the increase, it may due, in part, to complacency about the disease, particularly among young, gay men. He says there's also a general lack of awareness that HIV is still an important issue in Minnesota.

The department has recorded 9,176 HIV/AIDS cases since it began tracking AIDS in 1982 and HIV in 1985.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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