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Health Officials: Hundreds In North Dakota Have HIV But Don't Know It

December 1, 2011

BISMARCK, N.D.- This is World AIDS Day, and the North Dakota Department of Health is urging those at risk to get tested. HIV Prevention Coordinator Shannon Jahner says it is likely that hundreds of people in the state have HIV but don't know it.

"Here in North Dakota, people tend to think that it can't happen to them, that it only happens to people in larger communities and larger cities and maybe even other countries. But it does happen here in North Dakota."

Of the known cases of HIV, Jahner says there is a higher concentration on the eastern side of North Dakota, but cases have been seen throughout the state.

"As of Dec. 31, 2010, we've had 505 cases of HIV/AIDS reported to the State Health Department since surveys began in 1984."

A number of health clinics in the state offer free HIV testing. Details are available at the North Dakota Department of Health website, http://www.ndhealth.gov/hiv/.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND