Reviewing the HIV/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) situation in Hong Kong at a press conference today (May 26), the Consultant (Special Preventive Programme) of the CHP, Dr Wong Ka-hing, said that sexual transmission had remained the major mode of HIV transmission.
A total of 173 additional cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection were reported to the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) in the first quarter of 2015, bringing the cumulative total of reported HIV infections to 7 166 since 1984.
Dr Wong stressed the importance of proper use of condoms in reducing the risk of contracting HIV.
“HIV is the cause of AIDS and, without treatment, about half of the HIV-infected people will progress to AIDS within 10 years,” he remarked.
“Members of the public with a history of unsafe sex should take an HIV antibody test early. They can call the DH’s AIDS hotline (2780 2211) for a free, anonymous and confidential HIV test,” Dr Wong said.
Of the 173 HIV cases reported in this quarter, 96 acquired the infection via homosexual or bisexual contact, 31 via heterosexual contact and four through drug injection. The routes of transmission of the remaining 42 cases had yet to be determined due to inadequate information.
The 173 cases comprise 145 males and 28 females.
The newly diagnosed cases of the first quarter of 2015 were mainly reported by three major sources: public hospitals and clinics (59 cases), AIDS service organisations (31 cases) and the DH’s Social Hygiene Clinics (30 cases).
In addition, 31 new cases of AIDS were reported in this quarter, bringing to 1 576 the total number of confirmed AIDS cases reported since 1985. Among the new cases, 48 per cent were attributed to homosexual or bisexual contact and 45 per cent were related to heterosexual contact.
In this quarter, the most common AIDS-defining illness was Pneumocystis pneumonia, a kind of chest infection.
Of the newly reported cases in the first quarter of this year, 116 of them (67 per cent) had already received HIV specialist services at the DH or the Hospital Authority.