17 HIV cases recorded in first nine months

There have been 17 newly recorded HIV infections from local residents in the first nine months of the year – 15 men and two women – the Commission for AIDS prevention and treatment has disclosed.

Currently, eight of the cases were aged between 20 and 29 years; one case was between 40 and 49 years; and seven were above 50 years.

Among the 17 cases, 12 contracted HIV through same-sex or bisexual relations and four through heterosexual sexual intercourse. Another case has allegedly contracted the virus through a blood transfusion outside of Macau.

Existing measures, such as the promotion of safe sex, training of medical staff and public education, will remain the main tactics to curb the spread of the virus.

The Commission said a HIV self-testing scheme began in 2021. As of September this year, 708 self-testing kits were sold, with nearly half of the buyers not having conducted any HIV testing before. The scheme detected three HIV infections.

Meanwhile, the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) has employed various measures to prevent the spread of HIV through narcotics consumption.

In the first nine months of the year, 99 people have used methadone therapy, with an average of 93% attendance. Those with better results will be able to withdraw from the therapy and resume their normal life.

The IAS and Health Bureau (SSM) have also cooperated in pinpointing Hepatitis C patients since August 2020, and 39 patients have been logged so far.

The sex education curriculum has also been implemented at schools to help prevent HIV infections.

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