Native American AIDS gets attention in Minneapolis

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) âÄî A Native American youth theater group performs Friday in Minneapolis to mark a national day focused on HIV and AIDS among Native Americans. The performance by the Ogitchi-dag (oh-git-CHEE’-dah) Players from the Indigenous Peoples Task Force takes place at the Minneapolis American Indian Center. American Indians have the third-highest rate of HIV and AIDS among all ethnic groups. State officials say there have been 193 cases of HIV infection and 81 deaths among Native Americans in Minnesota since the AIDS epidemic began. Currently, about 100 HIV-infected American Indians live in the state. State minority health office director Mitchell Davis Jr. is urging frequent HIV testing and safe sex practices and warning against sharing needles used for drug use or body art.