Epidemiological Profile of HIV/AIDS in Minnesota

Risk Populations: American Indians

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HIV/AIDS Prevalence among American Indians

As of December 31st 2012, there were 132 American Indians living with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota. Although this only accounts for 2 percent of persons living with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota, American Indian persons have more than twice the rate of people living with HIV than white, non-Hispanic persons (238.2 per 100,000 persons and 87.4 per 100,000 persons respectively).

While the number of cases among American Indians in Minnesota has been relatively stable and low it is important to note this group has been found to have their race misclassified often by providers. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the HIV/AIDS Surveillance data for five states found that thirty percent of American Indian cases were misclassified, mostly as shite (Bertolli et al., 2007). It is possible that similar misclassification occurs in the Minnesota data and impacts the reported number of cases for American Indians in the state.

HIV Diagnoses among American Indians

Over the past ten years, new infections among American Indians has remained relatively low with an average of 8 new diagnoses a year with lows of 4 diagnoses in 2005 and 2011 and a high of 12 diagnoses in 2010. In 2012, there were 10 HIV/AIDS diagnoses among American Indians, five each male and female.

Gender and Mode of Exposure

Of the 16 American Indian males diagnosed between 2010 and 2012, 54 percent had an estimated mode of exposure of MSM, 23 percent MSM/IDU, 15 percent IDU and 8 percent heterosexual contact. Of the 11 American Indian females diagnosed between 2010 and 2012, 90 percent had an estimated mode of exposure of heterosexual contact and 10 percent IDU. However, the number of cases among American Indian men and women during the years 2010-2012 are insufficient to make further generalizations regarding risk.


Compared to other race/ethnicities, HIV positive American Indian persons living with HIV/AIDS, have a higher percentage of people living in Greater Minnesota at 19 percent. This is not surprising since there are several Indian reservations in Greater Minnesota.

HIV Treatment Cascade among American Indians

There were 122 HIV positive American Indians included in the HIV Treatment Cascade (PDF: 952KB/2 pages) analyses. Compared to the overall treatment cascade in Minnesota, American Indians have a higher percentage in retention in care, but lower percent of the population virally suppressed. There were too few HIV/AIDS diagnoses among American Indians in 2011 to display a bar for retention in care.


Updated Monday, May 05, 2014 at 08:50AM