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Number of HIV-infected Taiwanese aged 15-24 rises three times in past decade
Publication Date : 09-07-2013
The number of people with HIV aged between 15 and 24 has shot up to three times the level 10 years ago, according to New Taipei's Public Health Department (PHD).
Citing a reported rise in orgies and online dating, the government said it has found that the rate of HIV diagnoses in the country has risen, with the average age of those infected shrinking. The PHD reported that there has been a total of 5291 HIV patient cases up to 2012 in New Taipei.
In the 521 new cases reported last year, the PHD stated that 45 per cent were aged between 25 and 33 years old, while 28 per cent of the cases were aged between 15 and 24. The PHD pointed out that combined, the two age groups account for over 70 per cent of those with HIV.
The PHD stressed that the number of those in the 15-24 age group old who have been diagnosed with HIV has increased significantly over the past few years, with 49 patients in 2003 and 147 patients in 2012.
An official from the PHD, Lee Chia-chi, added that the number of HIV infections caused by sex has risen more than 90 per cent, largely due to the increase in unsafe sex practices, orgies and one-night stands.
Lee said that those with HIV may be asymptomatic for a period of five to 10 years, which means that humans don't fall ill immediately once they are infected with the virus.
She also encouraged people who are sexually active to regularly receive HIV screening tests to discover any early infections, adding that New Taipei has increased the number screening services from 39 to 60. “People can also go online to check for more information,” she said.