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CHP reviews local HIV/AIDS situation in third quarter of 2021
     A total of 105 additional cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection were reported to the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health (DH) in the third quarter of 2021, taking the cumulative total of HIV infections reported locally to 11 122 since 1984.

     Reviewing the latest HIV/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) situation in Hong Kong, a spokesman for the DH today (December 2) said, "Sexual transmission remained the major mode of HIV transmission. Members of the public should use condoms consistently and properly so as to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV."

     Of the 105 HIV cases involving 85 males and 20 females reported in the quarter, 49 acquired the infection via homosexual or bisexual contact and 25 via heterosexual contact. The routes of transmission of the remaining 31 cases have yet to be determined due to incomplete information at reporting.

     The new cases were mainly reported by three major sources: public hospitals, clinics and laboratories (47 cases); the DH's Social Hygiene Clinics (16 cases) and AIDS service organisations (15 cases). Also, 72 of the HIV-infected people have already received HIV specialist services from the DH or the Hospital Authority.

     In addition, 17 new cases of AIDS were reported in this quarter, of which 10 cases were attributed to homosexual or bisexual contact and six cases were related to heterosexual contact. The route of transmission of the remaining case had yet to be determined. In this quarter, the most common AIDS-defining illness was Pneumocystis pneumonia, a kind of fungal chest infection.

     Since 1985, a cumulative total of 2 297 confirmed AIDS cases have been reported in Hong Kong.

     The spokesman said, "HIV is the cause of AIDS. Yet, lifelong HIV treatment with antiretroviral drugs effectively prevents AIDS and its complications. It also improves the quality of life and survival rate of HIV/AIDS patients, the extent of which depends on how early antiretroviral treatment is initiated. Notably, people with HIV who achieve sustained viral suppression to an undetectable level will not transmit the virus through sex, i.e. 'Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U)'."

     "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) to arrange a free, anonymous and confidential HIV test. HIV-positive people should seek specialist care as soon as possible."

     The public may visit the following pages for more information: the DH's Virtual AIDS Office (www.aids.gov.hk), the Red Ribbon Centre (www.rrc.gov.hk), the AIDS Hotline website (www.27802211.com) and the Gay Men HIV Information website (www.21171069.gov.hk).
Ends/Thursday, December 2, 2021
Issued at HKT 11:30
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