More elderly people in Singapore contracting AIDS

08:55, November 30, 2010      

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The number of people here above 50 years old diagnosed with AIDS has doubled in five years to 142 last year, local media reported on Monday.

Official data shows that the highest number of AIDS cases were between 30 and 49 years old but there has been a rising trend among seniors aged 50 and above contracting the disease. local TV broadcaster Channel NewsAsia said.

In 2004, about 25 percent of those infected with HIV/AIDS were in that age group, Last year, the figure rose to 31 percent. Most were infected through sex.

"For the elderly individuals, the risk perception to sexually transmitted disease may be much lower than the younger individuals. They may think that because they are older, they have less risk to STD. But that's not true. As long as they engage in high risk activities, they continue to put themselves at risk," Associate Professor Leo Yee Sin, Clinical Director of the Communicable Disease Center at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital, was quoted as saying by the report.

About 373 Singaporeans were infected with HIV from January to October this year. The government expects the total number of new HIV cases for this year to come close to that of last year's figure of 463.

The number of new cases has been on the rise since 2003 - with the official figure of those with HIV in Singapore now at 4,777.

Source: Xinhua


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