Reflections on the State of HIV/AIDS in Minnesota
By Bill Tiedemann, Minnesota AIDS Project & Chuck Peterson, Clare Housing
World AIDS Day is a day to remember. A day to pause in our busy lives and recognize the impact that HIV and AIDS has had on our community. Beginning in the 1980s, Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP) and Clare Housing swiftly responded in the early years of the epidemic. Three decades later, we remain committed to ending this epidemic and providing the services and support needed to those who are affected by HIV/AIDS in Minnesota. We are proud of our histories and honored to follow in the footsteps of those who had the determination and vision to build the two organizations you see in our community today.
We are living at an incredible tipping point in history. The Affordable Care Act aims to bridge the enormous gaps of disparity between the rich, the working class, and the very poor. This Act has ensured that insurance companies cannot deny coverage due to a pre-existing condition like HIV. Also, for the first time in history, there is a National HIV/AIDS Strategy in the U.S. which unifies the efforts of HIV housing, prevention, and supportive services. The Strategy demonstrates federal commitment to reducing new HIV infections, improving health outcomes for people living with HIV, and reducing HIV-related health disparities. Lastly, bio-medical advances in the understanding of the virus have led to incredible successes in treating and preventing the disease.
We are at a place in time where the perfect storm of strategic alignment, good public policy, and effective science are coming together toward eliminating HIV from our communities.
Today, there are 7,500 people living with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota. Clare Housing and Minnesota AIDS Project, along with many other AIDS Service Organizations in our community, continue to play vital roles in fighting the epidemic. As a community, we must work together creatively and tenaciously to reduce new infections and to advocate for those living with HIV. We must be nimble and flexible to respond to the ever changing funding and political environments in order to empower those who do not have access to health care, housing or services.
The HIV/AIDS fight is far from over. As Minnesota AIDS Project marks its 30th anniversary, and as Clare Housing begins work on a new 36-unit affordable housing building in Robbinsdale, we are committed to working together to end this epidemic and ensure that all people living with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota have access to affordable housing and the services they need to live healthy and productive lives.
HIV IN MINNESOTA – courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Health.
- One new HIV infection reported nearly every day in Minnesota
- Steadily increasing number living with HIV in Minnesota
- · Disproportionate impact on gay and bisexual men of all races
- HIV is heavily concentrated in seven county metro area and yet HIV or AIDS was newly diagnosed in 33 counties throughout in Minnesota last year
- Disproportionate impact on communities of color
- Disproportionate impact on women of color
Upcoming Clare Housing and Minnesota AIDS Project Events
Visit Clare Housing by attending a Journey Home program. A one-hour interactive session that demonstrates how affordable housing and supportive services improve the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS in the Twin Cities. Dates of upcoming programs:
December 11, 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
January 8, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Call 612-236-9528 for more information
Minnesota AIDS Project 30th Anniversary Benefit
Thursday, December 5, 6 pm – 8 pm
Cargill Hall Gallery, Minnesota Central Library
Suggested donation: $100
A benefit celebrating 30 years of progress in HIV prevention, advocacy, awareness and support. Held adjacent to the Cargill Hall Gallery where the Minnesota AIDS Project: 30 Years of Hope gallery exhibit is on view. Speakers include Michael Kaplan, AIDS United; Senator Jeff Hayden; Bill Tiedemann, Minnesota AIDS Project; and Xander Lilly, Positive Leader
2nd Annual World AIDS Day Ball
Presented by Minnesota AIDS Project and Mother Paris Legion
Sunday, December 8, 10 pm (doors at 9 pm)
$15 (free with rapid HIV test)
More information: knowyourstatustc.org
Find out more about World AIDS Day events at the Minnesota Department of Health’s website.
HIV/AIDS Service Organizations
African American AIDS Task Force
The Aliveness Project
Hope House of St. Croix Valley
Minnesota AIDS Project
Positive Care Center
Hennepin County Medical Center
Rural AIDS Action Network
320-257-3036 or 800-966-9735
For additional HIV/AIDS related services and programs contact the MAP AIDSLine 612-373-2437
National HIV/AIDS Strategy