Hepatitis C, HIV hits American Indians at high rate in Minnesota

DULUTH, Minn. — The rate of hepatitis C among American Indians in Minnesota is “terrifyingly higher” than for other racial and ethnic groups, a state epidemiologist said on Thursday. The occasion was the Health Department’s annual release of data for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis A, B and C in Minnesota.

The chronic liver disease — a virus that’s often abbreviated as HCV — also is seen at a relatively high rate outside of the Twin Cities metro area, said Kristin Sweet of the Minnesota Department of Health.

“A lot of people think hepatitis C is an urban issue,” Sweet said. “Our data do not hold to that.”

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