AIDS Prevention and Control Commission Secretary-General Lam Chong said on Monday that last year saw the highest number of cases when 30 people were diagnosed with HIV since the first case was recorded in 1986, adding that the record number was due to the government’s promotion of HIV testing in recent years.
Lam made the remarks during a press conference at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about a series of activities in the run-up to World AIDS Day organised by the AIDS Prevention and Control Commission, which aims to promote care for AIDS patients and eliminate discrimination against them. World AIDS Day takes place on December 1.
Asked by a reporter why more HIV cases were diagnosed than ever last year in Macau, Lam said the reason was that more HIV tests were carried out in 2016. Around 26,000 HIV tests were conducted last year, compared to the average number of 12,000 in previous years.
Referring to the HIV diagnoses made between January and September this year, Lam said the number in the nine-month period had fallen to 15, all of them locals. Twelve of them are receiving treatment in Macau, one overseas, while two passed away, Lam noted. He added that most of cases were contracted through homosexual or heterosexual contact.
According to the Macau Post Daily, Lam said since the city’s first HIV case was diagnosed in 1986, the Health Bureau (SSM) has diagnosed a total of 696 HIV cases, 269 of them locals. Among the 269 locals, 51 have died.
Lam said since many cases were diagnosed last year, he expected the number of cases to continue to stay low for the remainder of this year.