Number of New HIV Cases in South Korea Decreasing, Report Says
The number of new HIV cases reported in South Korea in 2007 decreased for the first time since the country recorded its first case in 1985, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Korea Times reports. According to the CDC report, HIV incidence in 2007 decreased by 0.8% compared with 2006. Although the number of new HIV cases in South Korea in recent years had been increasing -- from 610 new cases in 2004 to 750 new cases in 2006 -- the number decreased to 744 new cases in 2007, the report found. Most of the cases occurred among men through sexual contact, according to the Times.
"I think individuals are now very much aware of the necessity of AIDS tests and that being HIV-positive does not always mean one is an AIDS patient," Nam Jung-koo from CDC said. Among the new cases recorded in 2007, 94.2% were among men in their 20s, 30s and 40s, the Times reports. Among the 744 new cases, 467 were transmitted through sexual intercourse, according to the Times (Bae, Korea Times, 1/29). In response to the report, CDC said it aims to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS and promote condom use through education efforts (Yonhap News, 1/29).