Taiwan CDC: new AIDS infections in Taiwan drop 21% year over year

Further analysis showed that the most common risk factor for new HIV infections this year was unprotected sex (92%)

(Photo courtesy of Taiwan CDC)

(Photo courtesy of Taiwan CDC)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) said in a news release on Nov. 30 that as of Nov. 29 this year, the number of AIDS infections in Taiwan was 37,747, of which 1,819 were new diagnoses, showing a decline of 21% (a drop of 497 new patients) compared with the same period of last year.

Taiwan CDC said the decrease in the number of new HIV infections was the second decline since 2006.

According to the news release, further analysis of data showed that the most common risk factor for new HIV infections this year was unprotected sex, at an alarming 92%.

With regard to which age groups are more at risk for HIV infection, the agency said an estimated 45% of people diagnosed with HIV were aged 25 to 34, followed by those aged 15-24 (25%). However, the numbers of HIV infections of both groups have reduced by 24% year over year, the agency added.

Taiwan CDC attributed the success in Taiwan's HIV/AIDS prevention and control to the cooperation among government departments, local health units, and civic groups.

“Up to now, more than 400 hospitals and clinics, health bureaus and civic groups in Taiwan provide HIV testing services,” the agency said. “Aside from that, starting from December 1, people can buy an HIV blood-test kit via health bureaus or NGOs, or get an NT$200 oral fluid self-test kit from vending machines. People can then follow the instructions and receive rapid HIV tests at home." For detailed information, please visit this site.

Taiwan CDC said it encourages people who have had unprotected sex to get tested for HIV at least once to understand their health status. If tested positive, they can then proceed to receive early diagnosis and medical treatments, which are the keys to achieving the 90-90-90 targets by 2020: 90% of people living with HIV diagnosed, 90% of diagnosed people on antiretroviral treatment, and 90% of people in treatment with fully suppressed viral load.

The agency estimated that Taiwan has achieved 84%, 88%, 94% so far this year.