The Health Bureau (SSM) said in a statement Sunday that the number of new HIV infections recorded in the first 10 months reached 40, an increase of nearly 66 percent compared with the same period of last year.
The bureau also said that homosexual or bisexual contacts were for the first time the main channels for HIV virus infections in Macau.
Of the 40 new HIV virus cases, 24 involved locals while the remainder involved non-locals. Compared with the same period last year, the number of cases involving locals increased nearly 85 percent, according to the statement, pointing out that of the 24 local cases about 60 percent were male.
The bureau also said in the statement that since 1986, when the first local HIV virus infection case was recorded, it was the first time that homosexual or bisexual contacts became the main cause for HIV infections. Both recorded 12 new cases each in the first 10 months of this year. Of the 40 new HIV patients 11 were infected via heterosexual contact and the remaining through sharing needles when injecting drugs.
In order to assist residents in better understanding the risk of being infected with the HIV virus, the bureau’s “risk assessment system” www.aids.org.mo will start operating today in which users only need to answer six online questions –– then the system will automatically analyse whether the user is at risk of having been infected with the HIV virus. Users can use the system anonymously, according to the statement.
In an attempt to encourage the public to be more aware of the HIV risk and get more information about it, the bureau will organise an on-line two-month event in which residents can answer questions about HIV and win prizes. The event will start today.(macaunews/macaupost)