HIV cases increase

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 March, 2012, 12:00am


Hong Kong saw a record number of new HIV infections last year since the first local patient was diagnosed with the disease in 1984.

The 438 new cases last year marked an increase of 12.6 per cent from 389 in 2010.

Overall, HIV prevalence in the city is estimated at under 0.1 per cent. That is low by international standards. If more than 1 per cent of the general population is affected, the disease is seen as widespread.

Infections through male homosexual contact were a prevailing trend in Hong Kong, said Dr Wong Ka-hing, a consultant with the Department of Health's Centre for Health Protection.

Homosexual men are among the highest-risk group, Wong said. 'The [same] trend is also seen in other parts of Asia'.

That mode of transmission made up 43 per cent of the total 5,270 people with HIV in the city. Some 4 per cent of gay men are infected.