• Kyodo News

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A total of 233 new HIV cases were reported in the July-September period, the second-highest quarterly figure following the record set in the previous three months, the government’s AIDS Surveillance Committee said Wednesday.

By gender, 214 of the new cases were men and 19 were women, according to the committee, which is part of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. In the April-June period, there were 248 new cases reported.

The committee also said 107 people developed AIDS in the third quarter, also the second-highest quarterly result, following a record high of 126 people in the July-September 2004 period.

Of the new infections in the third quarter, the largest number, or 136, were attributed to homosexual contact. Of the 136 infected, 128 were Japanese men. By age bracket, 69 percent were those in their 20s and 30s and 30 percent were in their 40s.

More HIV tests have been done than last year because of public awareness campaigns.

“An increase in the number of tests typically translates into a rise in the number of HIV-positive people, but the results this time show some stability,” one health ministry official said. “We need to be prudent in analyzing” data to determine whether the number of new infections has hit a plateau,” he said.

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