YAP’s Mission to Reduce the HIV Prevalence in Minnesota

The Youth and Aids Project in Minnesota encourages everyone between 13 and 30 to do HIV testing at least once to know their HIV status. People who are sexually active and those that share syringes and other medical equipment should be tested annually. HIV treatment is more effective when the virus is diagnosed at an early age. Early diagnosis and treatment allow HIV patients to live a longer and healthier life. HIV treatment is especially necessary among HIV positive women since it substantially reduces the risk of prenatal HIV infection.

Some of the common methods of HIV transmission is through vaginal and anal sex, sharing syringes or other equipment for drug injection, through blood transfusion and during pregnancy birth and breastfeeding. One of the main reasons why the Youth and Aids Project in Minnesota encourages people to get tested and start treatment if diagnosed positive is, lack of HIV treatment weakens the immune system. It leaves HIV patients vulnerable to various infections and some cancers. Although there is no vaccine or cure for HIV, the treatment is beneficial and can prolong the life of an individual living with HIV.

HIV Treatment can also reduce the risk of transmission of HIV. When taken correctly, HIV medications can significantly reduce the amount of HIV in the blood. When HIV levels in a person’s blood are too low to measure, they are described as undetectable. An individual living with HIV who gets and remains undetectable has effectively zero risks of transmitting the virus to their sex partners. This phenomenon is known as Undetectable=Untransmitable but only applies to HIV transmission through sex. Becoming undetectable can take up to six months after an individual begins their HIV medication. The Youth and AIDS project helps individuals perform blood tests to determine whether they have effectively become undetectable. Once a person is found to be undetectable, it is essential that they continue taking their HIV medication daily and regularly visit the Youth and AIDS project in Minnesota for subsequent tests to ensure that they are staying undetectable.

Although not many studies have been carried out to determine whether being undetectable or HIV treatment prevents HIV transmission through sharing syringes, we can reasonably assume that it reduces the risk of exposure to some extent. Sterilizing needles and other equipment can help prevent HIV transmission among people who inject drugs and other substances. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis pills can also help prevent HIV infections. Condoms, when used properly, can also reduce the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The Youth and Aids Project encourages all pregnant people to do HIV testing since, in most cases, the prenatal transmission of HIV can be prevented through the right medical care. To prevent perinatal transmission of HIV, the HIV patient should regularly take medication during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. After the child is born, they should also receive HIV medication, and should not be breastfed.

The Youth and AIDS Project in Minnesota aims to reduce HIV prevalence in Minnesota by educating the youth about the HIV prevention measures described above and offering services such as testing, counseling, and case management, among others.…

The Rate of HIV Infection in Minnesota

HIV prevalence among people of color is disproportionate in Minnesota. For example, in 2017, men of color represented 17% of Minnesota’s male population and over 60% of new HIV infections among males. Similarly, women of color represented only 13% of Minnesota’s female population and 80% of the new HIV infections among females. In 2018, Minnesota had 286 newly reported HIV infections. Male HIV infections accounted for 76% of all new infections, while 59% of all new infections occurred among communities of color. There were 275 new HIV cases in Minnesota in 2019. Males accounted for 72% of all new infections, and communities of color accounted for 61% of the new infections. It is worth noting that although race can be a proxy of other risk factors, such as lower education and social-economic factors, it is not a biological cause of the differences in HIV occurrence in Minnesota.

There is a rising concern for HIV infections among adolescents and young adults between 13 to 30 years in Minnesota, which is why the Youth and Aids Project in Minnesota targets this population. The number of newly reported HIV cases among males in this age bracket has been higher than that of their female counterparts since 1999. The number of newly reported HIV cases among female adolescents has been relatively consistent over the years. In recent years, most of the newly reported HIV cases among young adults and male adolescents in Minnesota have occurred among youth of color. Women of color also currently account for the highest proportion of new HIV infections among the female population in Minnesota. After redistributing those with unspecified risk, 86% of new HIV infections among males were attributed to male-to-male sex between 2015 and 2017. In the same period, 87% of the newly reported cases among females were attributed to heterosexual sex.

Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, male-to-male sex has been the primary mode of HIV exposure in Minnesota. Heterosexual sex with an HIV infected partner has been the primary mode of HIV exposure among females in Minnesota. The number of youths in Minnesota contracting the virus through injected drug use has also been on the rise in recent years.

Traditionally, race/ethnicity information about HIV/AIDS has grouped black African-born persons, and non-African born blacks together as “blacks”. The Minnesota Department of Health started analyzing these groups separately in 2001 and started observing a rising number of new HIV cases among black-African born individuals. Although African-born individuals represent less than 1% of Minnesota’s population, they accounted for over 20% of all new HIV infections in the state in 2017. Since the 1990s, Minnesota has witnessed a relative decrease in HIV infections resulting from prenatal transmissions. For example, the rate of prenatal HIV transmission was 15% between 1994 and 1996, but the number has since reduced to below 2% in Minnesota in recent years, with only one case being reported in 2018.…

What is the Youth and AIDS Projects in Minnesota?

Based at the University of Minnesota, the Youth and Aids Project (YAP) is at the forefront in the fight against HIV transmission among young people. The Youth and Aids Project in Minnesota also offers services to families and young individuals between 13 and 30 living with HIV. Some of the ongoing programs at the Youth and Aids Project in Minnesota include HIV prevention, testing, counseling, and case management. The services are designed to be coordinated, developmentally appropriate, family-centered, and culturally competent in order to reach the target population. YAP’s offices in Minnesota are located at 2929 4th Avenue South Suite 203, Minneapolis, MN 55408, and operate Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, with HIV testing services being offered from 1 pm to 4 pm in each of these days.

By the end of December 2017, there was a cumulative total of 11,598 HIV infections reported in Minnesota, including 2217 AIDS cases and 9381 HIV non-AIDS cases. The number of cases reported annually in Minnesota increased steadily from 1982 to the 1990s and reached a peak in 1992 with 361 cases. The annual number of newly reported Aids diagnoses and AIDS-related deaths dropped sharply, mainly as a result of the improvement of antiretroviral therapies. In 2017, there were 144 new AIDS cases, and 75 AIDS-related deaths reported in Minnesota.

Over the past decade, the number of HIV non-AIDS diagnoses has varied dramatically. For example, in 2009, there was a peak of 279 newly reported HIV non-AIDS cases, while in 2017, there was a low of 217 newly reported cases. In recent years, most of the new HIV and AIDS diagnoses in Minnesota have occurred in the metropolitan area. HIV infection is more prevalent in areas with greater poverty and higher population densities (unfortunately correlated with a lot of folks with credit issues, as well). Men account for most of the new HIV infections in Minnesota. The rate of HIV infections among males in Minnesota varies across race and ethnicity. For example, in the 1980s and 1990s, white males accounted for most new HIV infections, but the number started to decrease in the 2000s. In 2017, white males accounted for 39% of the new cases, while African Americans accounted for around 28% of the new infections. Hispanic Americans accounted for the lowest number of new cases.

Although males still account for the highest proportion of new cases, the number of females diagnosed with HIV has also been on the rise. For example, in 1990, females accounted for 11% of new cases in Minnesota, but this number has more than doubled in recent years. The trend of newly reported HIV cases among females also varies across race and ethnicity. During the early years of the HIV epidemic, white females accounted for the highest number of new HIV infections. Since 1991, HIV diagnosis among women of color has exceeded white females. In 2017, 80% of newly reported HIV cases among females in Minnesota occurred among women of color.…