ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The number of people in Minnesota diagnosed with HIV or AIDS declined in 2010. But state health officials say the 11 percent drop in cases doesn't tell the whole story.

The Minnesota Department of Health says 331 new HIV cases were reported in the state last year, compared with 370 new cases in 2009. The department's STD-HIV section manager Peter Carr says it's important to look at long term trends, rather than just a year.

The state has averaged about 300 cases per year for nearly a decade. Carr says it's also important to see where the disease is concentrated. That helps the department prioritize its efforts and resources.

New HIV cases remain concentrated in the Twin Cities metro area with 86 percent.  Meanwhile, here in the tri-county area, Sherburne county had six new cases last year, Benton county had one, and Stearns county had none. The health department says there are about 6,800 people living with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota.

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