Minnesota Department of Health Provides HIV Outbreak Update
The Minnesota Department of Health’s HIV outbreak response remains a priority at this time, focusing on three areas including cases, testing, and community engagement.
As of April 14th, there have been 22 cases of HIV associated with the current outbreak. The outbreak is among people who inject drugs, including 17 cases in Hennepin County, and 5 cases in Ramsey County. Many individuals were also diagnosed with hepatitis C virus, and experiencing homelessness.
People who are likely to be at risk include:
- Sex partners or syringe-sharing partners of people known to be living with HIV
- People who inject drugs with their sex partners and needle-sharing partners
- People who exchange sex for income or other needed items
The MDH HIV prevention and Early Intervention Services are adjusting their testing and syringe services program protocols during this time. These adjustments are necessary to continue providing HIV testing and harm reduction services that incorporate social distancing protocols during the state’s stay-at-home order. To keep up with these programming and SSP calendar changes, please visit HIV and AIDS Community Service Directory During COVID-19
The outbreak response group is incorporating community engagement planning meetings into the response. The meetings are a chance to hear from front-line workers directly involved in outbreak and plan activities for meaningful input. The Department of Human Services and Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center hosted a virtual town hall meeting focused on HIV and COVID-19 on Wednesday, April 22nd. MDH staff were present and discussed HIV prevention activities.