Guangdong has recorded 267 new HIV cases this year, compared to 178 cases between 1990 and 1998. A forum in Shenzhen on the prevention and control of Aids heard that the rapid rise was due to needle sharing by drug addicts, Nanfang City News reported yesterday. 'A survey shows 86.7 per cent of the 267 cases registered this year were infected through drug injection,' the paper said. 'Only eight per cent got the disease through sex.' According to official figures, 774 HIV cases have been recorded up to January since the first HIV infection was identified in Guangdong in 1986. But the paper quoted experts at the forum as saying the actual number of cases could be as high as 32,000. They said the figures indicated the problem was ballooning in Guangdong, although the province was still a low-infection zone. The majority of those infected were males, with victims aged from one to 71, the paper said. Experts said the spread of HIV would peak in 2003-2005, when 20,000 to 30,000 new cases were expected each year, meaning there would be 150,000 to 200,000 by 2010.