WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — The number of HIV and AIDS cases in North Dakota has grown dramatically in recent years as workers from across the country have flocked to the state because of its booming economy.

The state Health Department says there were 166 HIV and AIDS patients living in North Dakota in 2007. That number more than doubled to 357 last year.

Health Department HIV/AIDS Program Manager Lindsey VanderBusch says cases are shifting to the state’s western oil patch. She says 35-40 percent of new reported cases occur there. In 2009, only about 10 percent of cases were from the region.

VanderBusch says that even with the increases, North Dakota still has one of the lowest HIV and AIDS prevalence rates in the nation.

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