The number of people newly found to be infected with HIV in Japan came to 1,503 in 2010, with a record high 453 developing AIDS, the health ministry said in a preliminary report.
The total figure of new HIV infections is the second-highest on record, following 1,557 marked in 2008, the health ministry’s AIDS Trend Committee reported Monday.
The number of AIDS patients accounted for 30 percent of all new HIV carriers, rising for the second consecutive year.
Meanwhile, HIV antibody tests conducted by municipalities in 2010 totaled about 130,930, down from 150,252 reported the previous year, the committee said, adding it remains cautious because the number of such tests marked a drop for the second consecutive year.
“I hope more people will take the test as the development (of AIDS) could be prevented by early detection and treatment,” said Aikichi Iwamoto, chairman of the committee and a professor at the University of Tokyo.
Of the total HIV-positive and AIDS patients, 95 percent of the cases involved males.
By route of transmission, 63 percent were infected as a result of same-sex contact.
For the October-December period last year, the number of people newly found to be infected with HIV came to 422, marking a record high for a three-month period, with 119 subsequently developing AIDS, the committee said.