Number of New HIV Cases Reported in First 10 Months of 2003 in Singapore Up From Same Period Last Year
More new HIV cases in Singapore were reported in the first 10 months of 2003 than were reported during the same period last year, officials from the country's Ministry of Health said on Monday, Agence France-Presse reports. According to new data, 189 new HIV cases were reported in the first 10 months of 2002, compared with 201 cases during that time period in 2003. According to the ministry, 198 of the 201 new HIV infections were sexually transmitted, with heterosexual sex representing 78% of cases. Approximately 88% of the new HIV cases were among men, according to Agence France-Presse. "Heterosexual transmission has been the most common mode of HIV transmission among Singaporeans since 1991," the ministry said, adding, "Most of these cases contracted the infection through casual sex and sex with prostitutes in Singapore and overseas." In a statement, the ministry reminded Singaporeans to practice safe sex. "The ministry would like to emphasize that the only way to avoid AIDS is to remain faithful to one's spouse and to avoid casual sex and sex with prostitutes," the statement said, adding, "Persons who engage in casual sex or sex with prostitutes are advised to lower their risk by wearing condoms." Singapore has recorded 2,034 HIV/AIDS cases since the disease was first detected there in 1985, and 776 individuals have died of AIDS-related illnesses (Agence France-Presse, 11/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.