HIV/AIDS rising among elderly male

Cai Wenjun
The increase of HIV/AIDS in Shanghai has slowed and the number of AIDS patients now fluctuates within a very small range. 
Cai Wenjun

The increase of HIV/AIDS in Shanghai has slowed and the number of AIDS patients now fluctuates within a very small range. 

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is low in the city, officials from Shanghai Health Commission said on Saturday, ahead of the World AIDS Day. 

Though the epidemic is under control, the commission said the prevalence of HIV among those over 60 years old are increasing. The city reported 224 cases of HIV carriers over 60 this year, up 30.2 percent. About 84 percent are male. Elderly male carriers have kept rising in recent years.

Young male carriers between 15 and 24 accounted for 15 percent of new cases so far this year, almost the same as last year.

“Young male carriers usually catch HIV virus through sex and nearly 60 percent are through homosexual sex, while 78 percent of elderly males contact the condition through heterosexual activities,” said Zhuang Minghua from Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “HIV/AIDS prevention and control education and measures must target different age groups.”

Males cover 90 percent of new cases, the same as last year.

Sex is still the major factor and mainly sex between males with males. About 96 percent of cases were contacted through sex and 59 percent are between male homosexuals.

Since the first reported HIV infection in the city in 1987, Shanghai has reported 24,283, including 8,278 cases of AIDS. A total of 1,905 people have died.

The city reported 1,952 cases of HIV infections so far this year, including 748 AIDS patients, dropping by 4.8 percent and 0.4 percent respectively compared with the same period of last year. There are 210 death cases, rising by 5 percent than last year.

No mother-to-infant infections were reported this year in Shanghai, for the 11th year.

Education has aroused awareness among students, migrant workers, people in entertainment venues and the general public.

Campaigns targeting high-risk practices like illegal medical operations are carried out and all new inmates in prison and drug rehabilitation centers are screened. All neighborhood health centers can offer instant test and counseling.

Neighborhood health centers are also responsible for management of HIV carriers and AIDS patients. About 96 percent of people with HIV/AIDS are covered by neighborhood visits.

On World AIDS Day, the city will begin a month of education and consultation.

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