A government report showed 1,191 people were newly diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) last year, indicating eight fewer diagnoses than 2016.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the data in its 2017 report Thursday.
|KCDC has published HIV/AIDS report, announcing the number of newly diagnosed people in Korea last year.|
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system by destroying a white blood cell called a T-helper cell and making copies of itself inside them, gradually breaking down the immune system. AIDS refers to the final stage of an HIV infection when the person’s immune system is too weak to fight off infection, leading to defining symptoms.
Among the newly diagnosed, 1,089 were male, and 102 were female, showing a 10 to 1 ratio. The largest share of 33 percent was in their 20s, followed by 24 percent in their 30s, and 17 percent in their 40s. Data also showed about 85 percent of the newly diagnosed were Koreans, and 15 percent were foreigners.
In a survey of 753 participants, 752 people said that they were infected through sexual contact. Of them, 52 percent said they got the infection through heterosexual sexual contact, while 48 percent got it through sexual contact with the same-sex.
The KCDC said it is working to increase patients’ access to examinations by providing free anonymous exams at public health centers, utilizing self-examination kits, and operating an HIV examination consulting center.
The government is also covering the costs of treatment for patients to prevent the spread of the infection and to maintain the health of the infected patient. Consulting centers are also in operation at major specialized medical institutions for emotional support as well as medication compliance, the KCDC said.
The agency stressed that it is rolling out promotional projects for active prevention and awareness of AIDS for adolescents.
“We are working with various platforms to educate that AIDS is a chronic disease that can be sufficiently controlled through maintenance while stressing the importance of prevention as well as early diagnosis and treatment,” the KCDC said.