News release: Minnesota unveils plan to end HIV epidemic

News Release
May 29, 2019

Contact information

Minnesota unveils plan to end HIV epidemic

END HIV MN is comprehensive strategy developed by health officials, stakeholders

A new state plan proposes a range of strategies to bring an end to the HIV epidemic in Minnesota. The plan, dubbed “END HIV MN” was unveiled today at a special event at the Capitol in St. Paul.

In 1982, AIDS was first identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three decades later, Minnesota sees around 300 new cases every year of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Historically underserved groups such as communities of color, LGBTQ communities and people who use drugs are affected more often by HIV.

“HIV has impacted individuals, families and communities in our state for far too long, and it’s exciting to know that an end is within our grasp,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “There have been tremendous developments in HIV prevention and treatment that make it possible to stop the spread of this disease. END HIV MN will guide our efforts and resources to make the most of these new advancements.”

END HIV MN is Minnesota’s new statewide plan to address social and structural barriers to HIV prevention, testing and treatment. END HIV MN was created over several years with extensive input from people living with HIV, communities most affected by HIV, health care and social service providers and local and state government. The Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Human Services engaged more than 600 stakeholders through focus groups, workshops, interviews and online surveys.

“HIV does not affect all Minnesotans equally,” said Claire Wilson, Minnesota Department of Human Services deputy commissioner. “We can’t end HIV until we listen to people from the communities most affected about their unique challenges and opportunities. We know having these conversations and engaging with the communities is critical to being effective.”

Commissioner Malcolm and Deputy Commissioner Wilson joined representatives from stakeholder groups and HIV prevention partners at the Capitol event Wednesday. The event celebrated the completion of the plan and the official beginning of its implementation.

END HIV MN aims to significantly reduce the annual number of new HIV diagnoses in Minnesota by increasing the number of people living with HIV who are aware of their status, engaged in medical care and on successful HIV treatment. The plan lays out key strategies falling under five broad goals:

  • Prevent new HIV infections.
  • Reduce HIV-related health disparities and promote health equity.
  • Increase retention in care for people living with HIV.
  • Ensure stable housing for people living with or at risk for HIV.
  • Achieve a coordinated statewide response to HIV.

To support the strategies, the plan calls for tactics such as health care provider education and training, awareness campaigns, community outreach, comprehensive prevention education, building the capacity of community organizations, providing housing support and using telemedicine.

More details of the plan are available at END HIV MN (www.health.mn.gov/endhivmn).

-MDH-


Media inquiries:

Doug Schultz
MDH Communications Office
651-201-4993
doug.schultz@state.mn.us

Sarah Berg
Media Relations Manager
Minnesota Department of Human Services
651-431-4901
sarah.berg@state.mn.us