Hong Kong's health protection center said Tuesday that a total of 681 additional cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection were reported in 2017.
The newly reported HIV infection cases involved 592 males and 89 females, 63 percent of whom got infected via homosexual or bisexual contact while 16 percent via heterosexual contact, according to the Center for Health Protection (CHP) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government's Department of Health.
The number of newly reported cases of HIV infection in 2016 was 692, according to the CHP.
Consultant for the CHP's Special Preventive Program Kenny Chan said at a press conference on Tuesday morning that sexual transmission remained the major mode of HIV transmission, stressing the importance of consistent and proper use of condoms in reducing the risk of contracting HIV.
"HIV is the cause of AIDS and, without treatment, about half of HIV-infected people will progress to AIDS within 10 years. On the other hand, HIV treatment prevents AIDS and significantly prolongs survival," Chan said.
He suggested that those with a history of unsafe sex should take an HIV antibody test early, pointing out that they can call the AIDS Hotline of the Department of Health for a "free, anonymous and confidential HIV test."