Sex workers wait for customers on a street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Pham Le
Sexual intercourse has surpassed intravenous drug use as the leading means of HIV transmission, a concerned Ho Chi Minh City official announced Saturday.
“Although HIV infections have fallen over the years, we saw double the number of new infections last year compared to 2010,” Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the HCMC Health Department said.
Binh was speaking at a meeting held to review of anti-HIV/AIDS activities from 2011-2013 and present the 2014-2015 agenda.
“The proportion of intercourse-based HIV transmissions increased from 24 percent in 2010 to 49 percent in 2013,” he said.
An average of 2,200 new HIV infections were detected each year between 2011 and 2013, a significant reduction from a yearly number of 6,500 between 2006-2010.
The proportion of intravenous HIV infections fell from 59 percent in 2010 to 24 percent in 2013. Over the same period, HIV infection rates among female sex workers fell from 9.7 percent to 4.1 percent.
However, the proportion of HIV infection has remained at 15 percent over the past several years.
Since the first case of HIV infection was detected in late 1990, HCMC authorities have documented 58,852 infections, of which more than 33,160 developed into AIDS and nearly 10,000 were fatal.
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