The Hong Kong Department of Health announced Tuesday that a total of 373 new cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) were reported in 2006.
The figure is the highest annual number recorded and shows a 19 percent increase when comparing to 313 cases in the preceding year.
Reviewing the AIDS situation in Hong Kong, Consultant of the Department of health Dr. Wong Ka-hing said at a press conference on Tuesday that sexual transmission had continued to be the major mode of HIV spread in Hong Kong.
In the fourth quarter of 2006, 98 people were tested positive for HIV antibody, bringing the cumulative total of reported HIV infection to 3,198 since 1984.
Of the 98 new HIV cases reported, 23 acquired the infection via heterosexual contact, 30 via homosexual or bisexual contact, 16 through drug injection and two via prenatal transmission. The routes of transmission of the remaining 27 cases were undetermined due to inadequate information.
The 98 cases comprised 83 males and 15 females. In this quarter, the most common AIDS defining illness is Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, and is closely followed by Pneumocystic Pneumonia, a kind of chest infection.
Of the 3,198 cumulative total of HIV infections since 1984 in the city, around 75 percent acquired infection through sexual contact and 172 infections had occurred among injection drug users.
(Xinhua News Agency February 28, 2007)