South Korea Records Increasing Number of New HIV Cases
The number of newly recorded HIV cases in South Korea increased by about 7% in 2008, up to 797 from 744 in 2007, according to a report released Tuesday from the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Korea Herald reports. The new cases in 2007 bring the total number of HIV/AIDS cases reported since 1985 to 6,120. According to the Herald, the number of newly recorded HIV cases has been on the rise since 1997. The report found that 93%, or 743, of newly reported cases in 2008 occurred among men and that 6.8% occurred among women. Seventy-three percent of the cases occurred among people ages 20 to 40. Twenty percent of the cases were recorded among teenagers and 56 cases occurred among people over age 60 (Ji-hyun, Korea Herald, 2/11).
According to the report, 99% of the cases were transmitted sexually (Xinhuanet, 2/10). An official with the agency said that HIV "now belongs in the category of chronic diseases, like diabetes and hypertension, which indicates that early inspection and treatment are being emphasized for those infected with the virus to maintain normal and healthy lives" (Korea Herald, 2/11). The agency intends to increase public awareness of HIV and promote condom use through educational initiatives in an effort to help curb the spread of HIV in the country, according to Xinhuanet (Xinhuanet, 2/10).