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Number of HIV/AIDS cases in ND climbs

The North Dakota Department of Health, in collaboration with Family HealthCare, held a public education session in Dickinson Thursday, May 25, 2017. The sessions, which are being held across the state, are aimed to promote HIV awareness by providing information about HIV and STD prevention, transmission of HIV and treatment. (Sydney Mook / The Dickinson Press)

BISMARCK—The number of newly diagnosed cases of HIV/AIDS in North Dakota has steadily climbed over the past five years, the state Department of Health said Friday, Dec. 1.

In 2012, there were 16 such cases. But that rose to 50 by 2016, said Shari Renton, the department's HIV surveillance coordinator.

Renton said there have been more reports of anonymous sex, but she said "it could also just be that more people are getting tested," bumping up the number of reported cases.

The Health Department urged people to get tested for HIV, a recommendation made in observance of World AIDS Day. The department said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be test at least once as part of routine health care.

One in seven people infected with HIV are unaware of their infection, the department said.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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