MACAO, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Ten new HIV infections were reported in Macao for the first half of this year, a sign that local transmission of the virus remained stable, a health official of the Special Administration Region (SAR) said on Friday.
Among the infected, six are local residents, five of whom acquired the virus through sexual contact, while the other one via drug use, according to the Health Bureau of the SAR.
The increase of floating population in the SAR has posed some challenges to the prevention of HIV infections, but compared with the 21 infections reported last year, the spreading of the virus still stayed at a steady level this year, said Chan Wai Sin, deputy director of the Bureau.
Cumulatively, since 1986 up to the end of June 2008, a total of398 HIV infections were reported in Macao, being 52.5 percent diagnosed in temporary residents working in the entertainment industry, and 42 of the infected having progressed to AIDS, according to the statistics from the Bureau.
The major route of transmission has been sexual (67.8 percent),corresponding 60 percent to the heterosexual transmission and 7.8 percent to the homosexual transmission, while the use of injecting drug represented 13.3 percent of the infections, according to the Bureau.
To address the issues, the Bureau announced that it will invest more resources in the publicity and education of HIV prevention among local people.
It also planned to work with local civic groups to help sexual workers, who are usually at high risk of being infected with HIV.