CHP reviews local HIV/AIDS situation in third quarter of 2022
Of the 97 additional cases, involving 80 males and 17 females, 41 (42.3 per cent) acquired the infection via homosexual or bisexual contact, 26 (26.8 per cent) via heterosexual contact, and one (1.0 per cent) via drug use involving injections. The routes of transmission of the remaining 29 cases were yet to be determined due to incomplete information.
The new cases were mainly reported by three major sources: public hospitals, clinics and laboratories (39 cases); social hygiene clinics under the DH (18 cases), and the AIDS Unit under the DH (14 cases). Also, 61 of the HIV-infected people (63.5 per cent) have already received HIV specialist services at the DH or the Hospital Authority, while one case had left Hong Kong at the time of reporting.
Twelve new cases of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) were reported in this quarter, of which seven cases (58.3 per cent) were related to heterosexual contact, and four cases (33.3 per cent) were attributed to homosexual or bisexual contact. In this quarter, the most common AIDS-defining illness was Pneumocystis pneumonia, a kind of chest infection. Since 1985, a cumulative total of 2 373 confirmed AIDS cases has been reported in Hong Kong.
The CHP earlier reported an unusual increase of new HIV infections among female sex workers (FSWs) or females engaging in commercial sex, mostly in Yau Tsim Mong District and Sham Shui Po District, observed since August 2021. The CHP has been actively following up on the surge. Additional fieldwork during July to October this year to provide HIV testing/self-testing and enhance prevention for FSWs and their clients near related venues in the two districts have been completed. Outreach promotion had reached over 4 600 FSWs in venues with 224 persons tested. No reports of HIV positive results were received. The CHP also made phone calls from late June to early September to known FSWs of the Social Hygiene Service and encouraged them to come forward for blood tests. A total of 926 FSW clients were successfully reached with 138 persons tested, among which no reports of HIV positive results were received.
Reviewing the latest HIV/AIDS situation in Hong Kong, a spokesman for the CHP said, "Sexual transmission remained the major mode of HIV transmission. Members of the public should use condoms consistently and properly to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV. HIV is the cause of AIDS. Early HIV treatment with antiretroviral drugs effectively prevents progression to AIDS and other complications. Lifelong antiretroviral treatment is indicated for all people with HIV, and the treatment remarkably improves their health and survival. Moreover, infected people who achieve sustained viral suppression to an undetectable level with treatment 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. Key populations with a higher risk of infection should undergo regular HIV screening. They can visit the DH's AIDS Hotline website or call AIDS Hotline (2780 2211) for a free, anonymous and confidential HIV antibody test. HIV-positive people should seek specialist care and HIV treatment as soon as possible."
The public may also visit the following pages for more information on HIV/AIDS: the 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/Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Issued at HKT 10:00
Issued at HKT 10:00