Central China's Henan province reported a10.2-percent year-on-year increase in the number of HIV infections recorded during the first 10 months of the year, local health authorities said Wednesday.
A total of 2,837 people were found to be infected with HIV during the period, with 1,541 of the infections, or 55 percent, contracted through unprotected sex, the provincial center for disease control and prevention said in a statement.
Health authorities have effectively curbed infections contracted through blood transfusions, but infections contracted through unsafe sex, especially among people of the same sex, are rising rapidly, said Wang Zhe, the center's deputy director.
The number of infections that occurred through homosexual sex went up to 239, a 123-percent year-on-year increase, while infections contracted through heterosexual sex reached 1,302, up 30.2 percent year-on-year, the center said.
Wang called for strengthened management at recreational facilities and encouraging high-risk populations to undergo testing to reduce the rate of transmission.
Henan has recorded 51,956 HIV infections as of the end of October since reporting its first infection in 1995. Rural residents account for 92.5 percent of the infections.
Illegal blood sales and contaminated blood transfusions allowed the disease to proliferate in Henan's rural areas in the 1980s and 1990s.