HIV :: 17 AIDS cases reported in Q3 – HK

In the third quarter, 96 people – 81 men and 15 women – tested HIV positive, bringing the cumulative number of infections to 3,100, the Centre for Health Protection says.

There were also 17 new cases of AIDS reported in the same quarter, bringing to 841 the total number of confirmed AIDS cases reported since 1985.

HIV – or human immunodeficiency virus – is the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, or AIDS.

The newly diagnosed cases this quarter were reported by public hospitals and clinics (48), private hospitals and clinics (17), Social Hygiene Clinics (13) and the Department of Health’s AIDS Counselling Service (9).

Together these four sources accounted for 45.2%, 21.5%, 14.6% and 12.6% of all reported infections.

Sexual contact the predominant route

Reviewing the HIV/AIDS situation in Hong Kong, the department’s Consultant (Special Preventive Programme) Dr Wong Ka-hing said that sexual contact remained the predominant route of HIV transmission in this quarter.

Of the 96 new HIV cases reported, 29 acquired the infection via heterosexual contact, 31 via homosexual or bisexual contact and nine via injection of drug.

The routes of transmission of the remaining 27 cases were undetermined due to insufficient data.

In this quarter, the most commonly presenting AIDS-defining illness was mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, closely followed by pneumocystic pneumonia, a kind of chest infection.

152 drug users infected

Of the cumulative HIV infections since 1984, around 76% acquired infection through sexual contact. Of them, 67% were resulted from heterosexual transmission. There were 152 infections which occurred among injection drug users.

Of the newly reported cases in this quarter, 67 (69.8%) have received care at the HIV specialist services of the Department of Health or the Hospital Authority.

In 2005, 76% of the reported cases attended these services, where effective antiretroviral treatment was offered according to clinical indication.

The department monitors the HIV/AIDS situation through a voluntary reporting system, and releases quarterly Information on AIDS and data on HIV/AIDS, at its AIDS Unit web page.

Dr Wong said the public can request free, anonymous and confidential HIV counselling by calling the AIDS hotline, 2780 2211. HIV-antibody testing may also be arranged through this hotline.

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