New HIV cases reach record high in Hong Kong

November 16, 2015

Wong Ka-hing, a consultant for the Center for Health Protection, said the primary mode of HIV transmission continues to be sexual contact, with 145 cases occurring among men who have sex with men and 131 cases through heterosexual contact. "One thing to note is that in many countries, [MSM] sexual transmission is on the rise," Wong said, adding that this could be because of the difficulty reaching out to the MSM population.

The Standard reports that records show 40 of the 435 new cases involved injection drug use and that three occurred through blood or blood product transfusions. People with a "history of unsafe sex" should be tested for HIV and should use condoms "for safer sex to reduce the risk of contracting HIV," Wong said. According to The Standard, a total of 780 women and 3,267 men have been diagnosed with HIV since 1984 (Wong, The Standard, 3/4).

Loretta Wong Wai-kwan of the advocacy group AIDS Concern said the government "should be stronger in its leadership and boldly invest more in Hong Kong people's health." She said, "More work should be done right now as the effects will take a few years to materialize" (Ng, South China Morning Post, 3/4). Wong Wai-kwan said that condom use among MSM and the general population still is low. She added that despite regular use by 60% of the MSM community, some people are "willing to take the risk if condoms are not in their immediate reach." Wong Wai-kwan urged non-governmental organizations to increase HIV/AIDS prevention services, adding that it will not be "easy." She said it will "require more funds from the government to make the services stable and sustainable." In addition, Wong Wai-kwan said that the increasing number of new cases in 2008 could be because more people took HIV tests last year (China Daily, 3/4).

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