The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday that the number of people seeking anonymous HIV tests increased by 43 percent after Chinese Lovers’ Day last year, highlighting the importance of safe sex.
CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said that according to statistics compiled by 15 local hospitals in urban areas, the monthly number of people receiving anonymous HIV tests reached 2,200 in August and September last year, compared with the average of 1,500 people in other months.
In addition, 2.9 percent of the cases in the two-month period tested positive for HIV, higher than the national average of 2.6 percent, Chou added.
People in the 20-to-29 age bracket accounted for 40 percent of those with HIV, followed by the 30-39 age group at 34 percent, he said.
The number of young people with HIV is on the rise, with new cases last year in the 15-to-24 age bracket increasing by 16 percent compared with 2010, Chou said.
More than 90 percent of the cases among young people were transmitted through sex, he added.
As Taiwan celebrated Chinese Lovers’ Day yesterday, which traditionally falls on the seventh day of the seventh month on the lunar calendar, Chou urged the public to always practice protected sex.