The number of newly diagnosed HIV cases in Japan reached a record high of 1,048 in 2007, according to data released Tuesday by the government's AIDS Surveillance Committee, Kyodo News reports. The number of newly diagnosed AIDS cases was 400 in 2007, which also was a record high, according to the data.
According to Kyodo News, 2007 was the first time the number of newly diagnosed HIV cases was higher than 1,000 and the fifth consecutive record high (Kyodo News, 2/12). The data also showed that 1,336 of the HIV/AIDS cases diagnosed in 2007 occurred among men. In addition, the data found that 849 cases were contracted through sexual contact among people of the same gender and that 367 were contracted through heterosexual sex. In addition, six people contracted the virus through injection drug use. According to the data, 348 people newly diagnosed were in their 20s, 568 were in the 30s and 292 were in their 40s (Xinhua/China View, 2/12).
Aikichi Iwamoto, chair of the committee and a professor at the University of Tokyo Institute of Medical Science, said that more people are receiving HIV tests, leading to more diagnoses. He added that the committee believes the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the country is increasing. "The number of infections may jump explosively if infections spread" among injection drug users, he said, adding that the committee needs to monitor the spread of HIV among IDUs (Kyodo News, 2/12).
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