“Just because Magic Johnson looks good, it doesn’t mean he’s not HIV positive anymore,” writes North News‘ Gail Olson. “And even if you are symptom-free, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a sexually transmitted disease (STD).”

Two weeks ago, the Minnesota Department of Health released numbers showing a 13 percent increase in new HIV infections, the biggest increase in 17 years.

Fred Evans, Community Health Coordinator for Fremont Community Health Services, Inc., said there is a serious issue with HIV in Minneapolis. “Some of the problem lies with young people just not knowing the disease is still there,” he said. “There’s a lack of information about the disease itself. And social networking has made it easier for people to connect.”

And while HIV continues to be a concern, two other diseases, gonorrhea and chlamydia, “are at epidemic proportions in Minneapolis.” So wear those rubbers, folks. And get tested.

On the North Side, Fremont clinic staff say they work aggressively to get its target population – young black men – educated and tested for STDs.

How aggressively? How about walking up to someone on the street and asking him to pee in a cup?

Yup, that’s right: Put it in a Cup, part of the “Seen on da Streets” initiative, includes approaching young men on the street and asking them to pee in a cup ‚Äî you know, down an alley or something. Dang, that’s heavy; but… whatever it takes.