December 22, 2009
North Dakota logged 37 new HIV/AIDS cases this year through November, a record number for the state. Its total number of new cases for 2008, 28, was also a record figure.
The North Dakota Department of Health attributes much of the increase to new and faster HIV test procedures and an influx of people who were diagnosed out-of-state. The state's rise in new HIV/AIDS reports for 2009 might also be "a fluke," though it is "a matter of some concern," said Krissie Guerard, the department's HIV/AIDS program manager.
With rapid HIV tests available, screening has increased by about 25 percent in the state, Guerard said. Through 2008, North Dakota has recorded a cumulative 441 HIV/AIDS cases and 142 deaths from the disease. In 2008, 188 people with HIV/AIDS lived in the state, including 73 who were receiving state assistance for HIV therapy and medications.
From 2004 to 2008, 37 percent of North Dakota residents newly diagnosed with HIV already met the criteria for AIDS. Of the 62 people diagnosed in this period, 84 percent were ages 20-49, with those ages 30-39 comprising the largest group. Of the 188 people with HIV/AIDS residing in the state in 2008, 78 percent were male; 22 percent were female; 71 percent were white; 10 percent were American-Indian; 15 percent were black; 4 percent were Hispanic; and 1 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander. The most frequent modes of transmission were male-male sex (44 percent); heterosexual sex (33 percent); and injection drug use (10 percent).