Hong Kong recorded its highest-ever number of HIV infections in a single year in 2008, the city's Department of Health announced.
There were 435 new cases of HIV recorded, the highest total since records began in 1984 and 5% more than in 2007, a spokesman said.
Of the 435 infections, 131 people acquired the disease through heterosexual contact while another 145 were infected through homosexual or bisexual contact. The remainder of cases were unknown or from other sources.
Infection rates rising in gay community
The new figures follow repeated warnings from Hong Kong health officials about rising rates of infection among the gay community in the city of 7 million.
Government experts said last year they had detected clusters of up to 58 infections which could be traced to the same source and said internet dating and sex parties may be partly to blame. A total of more than 4 000 people have been infected with HIV in Hong Kong since the first cases in the 1980s, according to Department of Health figures. – (Sapa, March 2009)
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