Homosexuals leading to rise in HIV cases, says China

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 30, 2012 12:50 hrs

Beijing, Nov 30 (IANS) Sex between men is on the rise in China, and was a major factor leading to the rise in new HIV/AIDS infections in the country, the health ministry has said.

In the first 10 months of this year, 21 percent of all new HIV infections recorded in China came from male homosexuals, Xinhua reported.

This represented a sharp rise compared to 15 percent cases attributable to homosexuals in the same period last year, the ministry said.

The report also showed that the number of new infections among young people between 15 and 24 as well as people above 50 years of age were rising.

In the first 10 months, the numbers in the two age groups were 9,514 and 16,131, a year-on-year increase of around 13 percent and 20 percent respectively.

The only positive note was that the percentage of mother-to-infant HIV transmission dropped from around 35 percent to 7.4 percent in the past decade. About 3,400 children were prevented from being infected.

In total, China reported 492,191 cases of HIV/AIDS by the end of October, including 68,802 new cases this year. The first AIDS patient in China was found in 1985.

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