11/04/2013 02:50 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Saskatchewan reports number of new HIV cases in 2012 dropped five per cent

REGINA - Saskatchewan is reporting a drop in the number of new HIV cases.

The Health Ministry says there were 177 new HIV cases last year, a drop of five per cent from the year before.

Health officials credit a strategy launched in 2010 that encourages more people to get tested for the virus that causes AIDS.

The ministry says the number of people getting tested for HIV is up 23 per cent since 2009.

The strategy also includes more outreach workers and an infant formula program to help ensure nursing mothers don't pass on HIV to their child through breast milk.