First HIV case caused by bisexual contact

Saturday, February 6, 2010
Issue 935, Page 3
Word count: 607
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Macau reported eight HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection cases in the fourth quarter of 2009, taking the total number to 17 in the whole year.

Of these 17 patients, two have progressed from HIV status to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), according to the statistics from the Public Health Laboratory of the Health Bureau (SS).

Meanwhile, 2009 also saw the first case of HIV infection caused by bisexual contact ever reported in Macau since 1986.

From October to December last year, three men and five women tested positive for HIV in the SAR. Four of them were Chinese and the other four were not – but the laboratory did not state what nationalities they were of.

It was reported that three out of the eight HIV cases were found in local residents, who got infected respectively through heterosexual contact, homosexual contact and injecting drug use.

Another two cases occurred in non Macau residents, being one infected through heterosexual contact and the other one with the route of transmission being unknown due to “inadequate information”, the laboratory said.

The remaining three cases were reported in temporary residents working in the entertainment industry, who acquired the virus through heterosexual intercourse.

None of these eight HIV positive patients had progressed to AIDS as of the end of 2009.

Looking at the figures for the whole year 2009, a total of 17 HIV infection cases were reported, down by 22.7 percent or five cases compared to the preceding year.

They were 10 men and seven women; eight of them were Chinese, another eight were non-Chinese and one with unidentified nationality.

The rate of infection in local residents was 41.2 percent, meaning seven of the 17 patients were from Macau.

The statistics showed that sexual contact remained to be “the principal route of [HIV] transmission”, accounting for 64.7 percent.

Of which, heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual contact made up respectively seven, three and one of the total 17 cases last year.

The infection caused by bisexual contact was the first case ever reported in Macau since it began compiling HIV/AIDS statistics in 1986.

As well, three infection cases, representing 17.6 percent, were caused by injecting drug use and another three had the route of transmission remained unknown.

The laboratory also reported that two of the 17 patients – one man and one woman – have progressed to AIDS in 2009.

In regard to the cumulative number of HIV infection since 1986 in Macau, 427 cases were registered, in which 50.4 percent were diagnosed in temporary residents working in the entertainment industry.

Males and females represented respectively 193 and 234 cases; and 114 were Chinese, 292 were non-Chinese and 21 haven’t had their nationalities identified.

Although a majority (97.6 percent) of the HIV patients over the past 23 years were adults, two children at or less than 13 years old had tested positive for the virus according to the Health Bureau.

Heterosexual contact remained to be the most common route of HIV transmission, accounting for 252 or 59 percent of the 427 cases.

It was followed by injecting drug use at 13.6 percent and homosexual contact at 8.2 percent.

The laboratory however was unable to find out the route of transmission of 79 HIV infection cases since 1986.

In addition, one patient was infected with HIV through blood transfusion outside Macau, whilst perinatal transmission was determined to be the mode of infection of one of the cumulative cases in the territory.

During the past 23 years, Macau reported 44 or 10.3 percent of the HIV positive patients had progressed to AIDS. While 43 of them were adults, one was a child aged 13 or below.

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