March 7, 2013
In 2012, Hong Kong experienced a 17-percent increase in the number of new HIV infections. On March 6, health authorities said that data indicated that the increase was driven mostly by sexual transmission, going against a regional trend of decline. Health authorities recorded 438 new infections in 2011; however, they reported 513 new infections in 2012, which increased the cumulative number of cases to 5,783 since 1984.
The Centre for Health Protection stated that nearly half of the 513 new cases were infected through "homosexual or bisexual exposure," followed by heterosexual contact and drug injection. Wong Ka-hing, a special preventive program consultant at the center, stated that people should use condoms to practice safe sex and to reduce the risk of getting HIV. According to UNAIDS, the number of people living with HIV worldwide increased from 33.5 million in 2010 to 34 million in 2011. Asia has experienced a slight decline in new infections -- from 4,700 cases in 2001 to 4,500 in 2009; however, China reported a total of 68,802 new HIV cases in the first 10 months of 2012, bringing the total to nearly half a million, according to state media.