A record 530 cases of HIV infection were reported in Japan in 1999 while the number of newly detected AIDS cases also hit a record 300 last year, according to the Health and Welfare Ministry.

Japanese men accounted for 72 percent, or 379, of the HIV infections in 1999, jumping 45 percent from the 261 reported the previous year, the ministry said in a report released Tuesday.

The number of Japanese women infected with the HIV virus increased by nine to 45 last year, the report shows.

Seventy-nine percent of the HIV infections reported last year were believed to have occurred in Japan. Of the total, 77 percent were the result of sexual contact.

After peaking at 442 in 1992, the number of new HIV infections in Japan declined for three years, bottoming out at 277 in 1995. The number has been on the rise again since 1996, according to the ministry.

Of the 300 newly reported AIDS patients, 71 percent, or 212, were Japanese men. Of Japanese AIDS patients, 69 percent were believed to have become infected in Japan.