MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While the rate of HIV has leveled off in Minnesota, there are some signs of trouble ahead.

David Kurtzon is program manager at Teen Wise Minnesota.

“We have noted in the most recent survey, we have found a declining use of condoms, and that could lead to an uptick,” Kurtzon said.

In Minnesota, nearly 3,500 people have died from HIV or AIDS and there’s 7,500 people living with the disease in the state.

Kurtzon said one key to help stop the spread of HIV is expanding the scope of regular screenings.

“So we have made some advances. Testing, in general, would catch more infections earlier, which means we could treat much better, because as you know with these new drugs, the earlier you can get going with them, the better,” he said.

He also said reaching out to different communities is critical to stopping the spread.

“There are many cases, where especially young people but adults as well are not going to come to your clinic or hospital proactively but if you’re there at your church or community center, and you’re offering free testing, you can often get a lot of people in the door,” he said.

Worldwide more than 60 million people have been infected with HIV and 25 million have died in the past 30 years.

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