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Minnesota Department of Health awards grants for HIV prevention

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently announced that 20 agencies, including the Rural Aids Action Network, which serves Douglas County, will receive $1.7 million for HIV prevention grants. The grants will ensure that targeted efforts continue to reach those at highest risk of acquiring or spreading the infection.

The grants, funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state, will be awarded for a two-year period beginning in January 2013.

They will support 30 programs aimed at preventing the spread of HIV in adults and young people of all races and from all sexual orientations at risk for HIV. The awarded agencies will have an option for a two-year extension, dependent on availability of funds in 2015.

The grants will help nonprofit community-based organizations, clinics and agencies to provide programs to reach underserved communities with higher HIV infection rates through the following prevention service tracks:

--HIV testing and testing outreach

--HIV prevention with positives to keep themselves and their partners healthy

--HIV prevention services to keep injection drug users healthy

--Prevention for youth at high-risk of HIV

Funding decisions were based on recommendations submitted by a 48-member community proposal review committee that reviewed and scored the applications.

For more information about MDH's efforts to address the HIV epidemic in Minnesota, visit their website at