Date
25 September 2017
AIDS Concern encourages young gay men and other people who may have engaged in unsafe sexual behavior to take an HIV antibody rapid test as soon as possible. Photo: Facebook
AIDS Concern encourages young gay men and other people who may have engaged in unsafe sexual behavior to take an HIV antibody rapid test as soon as possible. Photo: Facebook

HIV patients getting younger as number of cases rises

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said it recorded 179 new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection during the second quarter of this year, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.

The number of HIV cases for the first six months was 352, a new high for the first half of any year, and was 16 percent higher than in the same period last year.

Dr. Wong Ka-hing, consultant doctor of the CHP’s Special Preventive Program, said he expected the total number of cases for all of 2015 to surpass that for last year. It could set another record, he said.

Wong said of the 179 new HIV patients reported in the second quarter, 100, or 56 percent, acquired the infection via homosexual or bisexual contact, and 32 via heterosexual contact.

Three were infected when injecting drugs, and one baby was infected by its mother around the time of its birth.

The median age of men infected with HIV via homosexual contact has dropped from 37 in 2011 to 31 this year.

In a survey done by AIDS Concern of 803 young homosexual men between April 2014 and March 2015, 372 of the respondents said they’d had sex with their male companions over the past six months, while 46 percent of them said they did not use a condom every time.

Of those who opted not to use a condom, 36 percent said it was because they trusted their partners, while 18 percent said they could not reject the sexual demands of their partners.

AIDS Concern encouraged young gay men and other people who may have engaged in unsafe sexual behavior to take an HIV antibody rapid test as soon as possible.

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EL/AC/FL

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