The number of HIV cases in Hong Kong surged up 17% in 2012, going against a regional trend of decline, according to new data revealed Wednesday.
The city-state recorded 513 HIV cases last year, up from 438 infections in 2011, mainly transmitted through “homosexual or bisexual exposure” followed by heterosexual contact and drug injection, according to the Center for Health Protection.
HIV cases in Hong Kong rose to 5,783 since 1984.
The number of people living with HIV worldwide rose from 33.5 million in 2010 to 34 million in 2011, according to UNAIDS.
Asia has seen a slight decline in HIV infection, from 4,700 cases in 2001 to 4,500 in 2009. In China however, a total of 68,802 new HIV cases were reported in the first 10 months of last year, bringing the total to nearly half a million, according to state media.
Volunteers, including students, hand out free condoms in Hong Kong as part of the annual “World AIDS Day Campaign” launched by the Red Cross to promote awareness of AIDS and its preventive measures.