Review of HIV/AIDS in 2017 (with photo)

     A total of 681 additional cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection were reported to the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) in 2017, compared with 692 in 2016.
     Reviewing the HIV/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) situation in Hong Kong at a press conference today (February 27), the Consultant (Special Preventive Programme) of the CHP, Dr Kenny Chan, said that sexual transmission remained the major mode of HIV transmission.
     Dr Chan stressed the importance of consistent and proper use of condoms in reducing the risk of contracting HIV.
     "HIV is the cause of AIDS and, without treatment, about half of HIV-infected people will progress to AIDS within 10 years. On the other hand, HIV treatment prevents AIDS and significantly prolongs survival," he said.
     "Members of the public with a history of unsafe sex should take an HIV antibody test early. They can call the DH's AIDS Hotline (2780 2211) for a free, anonymous and confidential HIV test. HIV-positive people should seek specialist care as soon as possible," Dr Chan said.
     Of the 681 newly added HIV cases, 592 males and 89 females, reported in 2017, 427 (63 per cent) acquired the infection via homosexual or bisexual contact, 111 (16 per cent) via heterosexual contact, and five (1 per cent) via drug injection.  Other routes of transmission included: one via blood transfusion outside Hong Kong and three via perinatal route (of which two cases were acquired outside Hong Kong; one had an unknown place of transmission). The routes of transmission of the remaining 134 cases have yet to be determined due to inadequate information.
     In the fourth quarter of 2017, 139 new cases of HIV infection were reported, taking the cumulative total of HIV infections reported locally to 9 091 since 1984.
     Of the 139 HIV cases, 118 males and 21 females, reported in the above quarter, 67 acquired the infection via homosexual or bisexual contact and 21 via heterosexual contact and one via drug injection. The routes of transmission of the remaining 50 cases have yet to be determined due to inadequate information.
     The new cases of the above quarter were mainly reported by three major sources: public hospitals and clinics (65 cases); private hospitals, clinics and laboratories (21 cases) and the DH's Social Hygiene Clinics (19 cases).
     Of the newly reported cases in the above quarter, 76 of them (55 per cent) have already received HIV specialist services at the DH or the Hospital Authority.
     In addition, 28 new cases of AIDS were reported in the above quarter, bringing to 1 857 the total number of confirmed AIDS cases reported since 1985. Among the new cases, 15 cases (54 per cent) were attributed to homosexual or bisexual contact and 11 cases (39 per cent) were related to heterosexual contact.
     In the above quarter, the most common AIDS-defining illness was Pneumocystis pneumonia, a kind of chest infection.
     The public may visit these pages for more information on HIV/AIDS: the DH's Virtual AIDS Office (, the Red Ribbon Centre (, the AIDS Hotline website ( and the Gay Men HIV Information website (

Ends/Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Issued at HKT 13:00