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29 Nov 2013

Gay men in Hong Kong still at the highest risk of contracting HIV, say health authorities

Gay men are still at the highest risk of contracting HIV as the city's department of health continues to document record-breaking numbers each quarter this year of which the highest rates are among MSMs (men having sex with men).

'Record-breaking numbers' of HIV cases recorded in Hong Kong as gay men still at highest risk, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post said on Tuesday.

The newspaper report follows a press meeting organised by the Department of Health on the same day. 

Consultant for the Health Department’s special preventive programme Dr Wong Ka-hing revealed that the department recorded a total of 153, of which 125 are men, new cases in the third quarter this year. Around half (70 homosexual, 8 bisexual) of the new HIV cases are suspected to have been acquired through gay or bisexual sex, less than a quarter (34) through heterosexual sex and two of the cases through drug injections. The causes of the rest of the infections were unknown or inconclusive.


Source: Hong Kong Department of Health. To download the report, click here.

Dr Wong was quoted in the SCMP report as saying that the rates are the highest among the MSM (men having sex with men) community. He predicts that the numbers this year will surpass last year's as they have documented record-breaking numbers each quarter this year.

In March, the health department reported that new MSM HIV infection rates in Hong Kong have been the highest in 30 years.


A 2011 ad by the Department of Health's AIDS Unit that features a gay hook-up.

Hong Kong

Reader's Comments

1. 2013-11-29 14:50  
Sadly, over time it seem as if people just forget its there... education is the ONLY way to remind them. You would hope that with time, people get smarter and don't revert to lazy and silly behaviors.
2. 2013-11-29 20:30  
If we do not find the reason correctly, we will not solve problem
Education? what kind of education?

Gay/LGBT should know that we have so many responsibilities to the world. So many hungry mouth to feed.
If you got sick, will you take responsibilities?

As far gay have no much responsibilities. they do not care about.
everytime I met men, they always want my ass, do not want to meet for other things.

That why, Gay need lots of responsibilities.

See, the world
See other countries that need your help
should not think only your own cities, life or own country.

see table :
Table of invasion/imperialism:

initiator ! Gun ! spreading carrier-methode ! target
-----------------------------------------------------------
? ! Religion ! unconsciousness-pleasure ! gay
? ! Virus (BGy) ! unconsciousness-pleasure ! gay
? ! Drug ! unconsciousness-pleasure ! gay


was the initiator the same?
See the carrier : all were in unconsciousness because of H-pleasure

May be if we have gay ministry who can work good,
He can give LGBT a figure/ a destination/ responsibilities.
Because every country should maximize people.
And gay should not be loads of country.
We have good things that why others want to destroy us.

I can not write too many at same time



Comment edited on 2013-11-29 20:32:10
3. 2013-11-29 22:44  
dont go hongkong lor

come visit us in down south in singpaore
4. 2013-12-01 12:56  
no.2- I find it strange to discover you think of all gay men as having some kind of Hive mind like the Borg Collective and that you would choose to make such inaccurate sweeping generalisations about them, whereas if anybody else was to do the same about any other demographic they'd be acuused of bigotry, hatred, ignorance, homophobia, racism, sexism and xenophobia.
Never mind finding the answer to the question: "Why?
more important to answer to the question: "What do we do now?"
Being responsible and setting a good example begins qith yourself. No hope for outer conflicts to be resolved if our own hearts or minds are in conflict.
Good Luck.
5. 2013-12-01 12:56  
no.2- I find it strange to discover you think of all gay men as having some kind of Hive mind like the Borg Collective and that you would choose to make such inaccurate sweeping generalisations about them, whereas if anybody else was to do the same about any other demographic they'd be acuused of bigotry, hatred, ignorance, homophobia, racism, sexism and xenophobia.
Never mind finding the answer to the question: "Why?
more important to answer to the question: "What do we do now?"
Being responsible and setting a good example begins qith yourself. No hope for outer conflicts to be resolved if our own hearts or minds are in conflict.
Good Luck.
6. 2013-12-01 15:13  
"Being responsible and setting a good example begins with yourself. - sounds pretty religious (:

I agree to that only to a small extent.

From my experience as a frequent visitor to HK, I do not like the situation there at all. I find it so shocking that a lot of times, the guys don't want to use protection - not just the locals, even the expats. I bet even the straight hook-ups there don't use protection.

This demographic don't just show a rising number to take note of. It translates to a crisis. HK cannot afford to sit and wait and have people passively lead by example anymore.

What to do now? The answer lies in the question our Buddhist expat living in Shanghai chose to overlook - why. That is answered by our first comment from Boston. Sex education is lacking in HK, perhaps even most of Asia since it is taboo to speak of it. Where I live, there were some classes on that but I think it failed miserably because the teachers were one of those that are teaching the class English or Maths and have to constantly refer to his/her notes and be shy to talk about anything and not someone trained professionally to educate on sexual health.

Perhaps HK can reach out to the Biology teachers who know a little more about STIs like HIV to come up with a new sex education syllabus to be taught in Secondary school (along with drug and alcohol abuse even?). Or maybe, hospitals can use the media to educate the general public of STIs, HIV transmissions, risk and prevention as the best form of protection. Demographics should also be used to make the situation real in everyone's minds.

As for our second comment from Indonesia, I strongly disagree. Gay people have responsibilities too and I don't think anyone wants to 'destroy' gay people because they are jealous of all the 'good' they don't have.
Comment edited on 2013-12-01 19:23:06
7. 2013-12-01 20:05  
i strongly agree with last persons comment there is not enough
sex education in graphic detail for prevention in news media, newspapers, public school system, etc. in most countries in asia and western countries also.
8. 2013-12-02 08:28  
I never sad the answer to the question: "Why?" is unimportant, ACTIONS are more important than WORDS, ACTIONS based on BEING PROPERLY INFORMED AND FULLY AWARE means we can all work together to completely eradicate AIDS & HIV like we did with smallpox.
Telling others to act responsibly and set a good example without doing so oneself would only be cowardly, defeatist, hypocritical, inconsistent and irresponsible- stands to reason no matter what your religious/spiritual inclination or even if you have none at all.
Have a Magnificent Monday
9. 2013-12-02 12:49  
It is unfortunate, but political correctness (I was recently blasted for writing in my LGBT column about the high HIV infection rates among MSM, accused of 'scaremongering') doesn't mean much to a virus. It's very simple - as long as MSM remain invisible in Asian sex education, as they did for so long in the West, then HIV will continue to, equally invisibly, wreak destruction - regardless of our feelings on the matter.
Comment #10 was deleted by an administrator on 2013-12-03 11:00
Comment #11 was deleted by its author on 2013-12-02 20:17
12. 2013-12-02 20:37  
I am staying in Indonesia, got sex education include biology since more than 10 years ago.( because I usually got big mark for biology :-) )
I still often found men over 50 years old age, they still want to fuck BB.
I think because they have too much sex education from school, media, etc.
Sex education at first is ok but you have to write new your own books beyond sex education or find new other solutions.

I see Religion, Virus, drugs having similarity. I Can not describe many things in this public. It can be written bigger than Holly books.
You must know, many people with many reasons and background that can be contradiction reading fridae news.

Because I am here living with many religions for years, so i know what they do and why religion spreading.

I am curious : are you sex education teacher or biology teachers?
that why you recommend for that?

#6, i got religion education for years and read Holly book.


13. 2013-12-04 00:28  
@hsnikeram: Don't forgot there are vaccines for smallpox so that is easier to control than with HIV. This virus is able to adapt, mutate and become immune to more and more drugs. In my view, we can only control the spread and not eradicate at the moment although I have read that there are some breakthroughs so perhaps that may change over time. I really hope it does - but then it will raise the other issues like commercialisation of drugs and people stop using protection altogether because HIV is not dangerous anymore.......so many upcoming topics (:
Also, when you referred to this said role model who should practise what he preaches, who do you refer to? The government? Or individuals? If the latter, I am not so sure there will be much changes to the statistics as no mass education is involved. Like a business, there must be some active marketing going on. Just the boss doing the selling will not get enough publicity immediately or in the long run. Correct me if I have misunderstood you.

@Bottom4used: Sex education and Biology is different. Sex education is to tackle the issue of sexual health directly while biology is the study of life. The former will be teaching about condom usage and family planning and vaccinations etc. while the latter only educate about, among many other topics like plants and natural selection, how a person can get infected by viruses and bacteria (the molecular level of transmission and infection).

I suggested gathering biologist and related experts to write a new syllabus that will combine both these topics to educate secondary school students on the seriousness of the statistics and how easily we can improve it. They will connect altogether and form a fuller picture of why people should start taking care of their sexual health so that our teenagers who are just starting to explore their sexuality will be more 'in the know' about what they might be doing to themselves.

And to your comment on religion - I believe the most religious people on earth will agree to practise abstinence which is not the most realistic. How does religion play a part here?

@Xepherus: Hence I suggested a bold move from the government on firstly, a sex education syllabus and secondly, using the media to educate the rest of the public so that over time it becomes less invisible. As per ronmac, the general public need some real GRAPHIC details to be afraid. Someone has to start the ball rolling and who else has that kind of power?
14. 2013-12-04 03:34  
Guys, I think we are missing a point here: compare the curves of heterosexual and MSM transmission in the article. They are very different! Of course the article quotes a very small sample as usual (153 people for the last quarter), but still...

This cannot be explained only by a lack of general HIV education: there is something specific to the gay male community in HK. What? I have no idea. But the local gay and AIDS groups should probably react, somehow.
15. 2013-12-04 08:18  
Dear limon-cello,
everything starts on an individual level, the government comprises of a group of individuals . . .
I don't disagree with what you said.
I volunteered for several gay charities millions of years ago in UK, distributing condoms and literature about safe sex, helping homeless gay teens be placed in a gay household with a LGBT "Aunt", "Uncle", "Big Sister" or "Big Brother", sad- World Aids Day passed in Shanghai without a single fundraising event taking place anywhere, I asked around, I can only try to make it happen, get in touch with some people, see what they're willing and capable of doing, journey of a million miles begins with a single step.
AIDS & HIV will become a thing of the past if we all make the effort to make that happen.
16. 2013-12-04 08:18  
Dear limon-cello,
everything starts on an individual level, the government comprises of a group of individuals . . .
I don't disagree with what you said.
I volunteered for several gay charities millions of years ago in UK, distributing condoms and literature about safe sex, helping homeless gay teens be placed in a gay household with a LGBT "Aunt", "Uncle", "Big Sister" or "Big Brother", sad- World Aids Day passed in Shanghai without a single fundraising event taking place anywhere, I asked around, I can only try to make it happen, get in touch with some people, see what they're willing and capable of doing, journey of a million miles begins with a single step.
AIDS & HIV will become a thing of the past if we all make the effort to make that happen.
17. 2013-12-05 00:44  
drelin is right. It's only the MSM category going up up up.....
I believe that is because HK's LGBT community is still so suppressed - that is the general feeling I get when visiting. There seem to be a lot less open-mindedness than where I live, in Singapore. The people there seem to have to shut themselves in to protect themselves for god-knows-what. Maybe if that improve, there will be more discussions like this one within HK's LGBT community and raise awareness of this dangerous trend.

hsnikeram, I am still slightly confused. From my understanding, what you just described is the 'preaching' but not the 'leading by example'. Do you also mean that while individuals preach about safe sex, they themselves don't practise it? What I meant was that an organisation with has the attention of huge numbers of people should act instead of having a few random Tom, Dick or Harry pass flyers around. I think someone powerful should make that first step to inspire others to follow suit in HK.

Also, I think it is literally impossible for HIV to be history. Taking away the human behaviour factor, the scientific facts do not match up! AIDS, perhaps but we are still far from that. The medical advances is still not showing the great leap to suggest a cure. All the other STIs are also growing immune to more jabs and we are down to the final antibiotics that can be used to treat some bacterial STIs.

I do understand where you are coming from though. You meant to state that people just need to have that common goal to eradicate HIV - that I agree on but that is also only half the battle.
18. 2013-12-05 08:14  
I never said that those who teach about safe sex don't practice it- I only hope that they do, otherwise it's hypocrisy.
Many trhings are now consigned to history- human sacrifice, foot binding, slavery, we can do the same with AIDS & HIV.
Long long time ago we were told the earth was flat, flying and space travel were impossible, and then . . . .
19. 2013-12-06 00:33  
Only one comment to that: Easier said that done.
20. 2013-12-06 03:26  
I find this to be a common misunderstanding about 'personal responsibility' vis-a-vis HIV/AIDS. If eradicating HIV was as simple as personal responsibility, without any consideration for social stigma, then the message that would be perceived would be one of fear and shame: 'You must use a condom during sex and if you don't use, it is because you're irresponsible and if you get HIV as a result, it's your own fault'. In that case, we're no different from the Catholic Church/Fundamentalist Christians (replace 'use a condom' with 'practice abstinence'). Yes, personal responsibility is required but society also has a part to play. There IS some truth to social stigma being a barrier HIV prevention efforts (including condom use). And this is the worst when HIV prevention programs use Fear and Shame to 'encourage' people to use a condom. We need to move away from that. And this TED talk makes that point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEaaWagTuUQ
Comment edited on 2013-12-09 10:42:56
21. 2013-12-06 07:28  
I think gay men score high in this area in many more places than HK. And I think it has a connection to how closeted and socially unaccepted homosexuality still is in much of the world. Education is a good foundation but even straight ppl make mistakes and have unexpected consequences like STDs or pregnancy. And those are not just teenagers or uneducated ppl. They can be very well-educated professionals who simply made one small mistake. Sex education and contraceptives are not 100% and never will be for straight or gay.

However, gay ppl are still often suppressed despite major gains in some countries in regards to gay marriage. I think in societies that bring gay people into the mainstream and allow them to marry and be public could have a positive affect on many gay issues including health. Straight ppl can look forward to dating and falling in love with public approval. There is both a spoken and unspoken support for straight love and how wonderful, romantic, and life-changing it is. It is strongly equated with happiness and not sex. And because of that, straight ppl feel a greater responsibility to uphold the image and standard of straight love. Most men don't say they married their wives because she was a good fuck. There will usually be a more romantic reason.

But gay love lacks that same approval. And although gay love is also more than just sex, it does not share the same support. Strangers on the street will frown more often than smile at gay couples who express their relationship. Generally ppl still prefer gays to keep it discreet or secretive. GAys have to be asexual in public.

Society can suppress some behavior but sex is one of the hardest behaviors to suppress. Therefore gay love is reduced to gay sex and suffers from a lack of nurture in general. For many gays, sex is still the primary expression of their gayness because they did allow themselves or can't allows themsleves to express gayness in any other way.

This creates a vicious cycle. The misunderstood stereotype of gays as sexual deviants is supported and actually encouraged by the mainstreams refusal to allow gay love expression publicly.

That's why I strongly support the continued fight for gay love recognition, legal marriage, and recognition of all family and marriage rights under the law. We are all human beings and generaly speaking, most people prefer relationships over endless sexual encounters. Yes most ppl have phases of high sexual activity but this usually decreases with age, as ppl settle down into families. Gays do not have that universally yet. Until we are able to safely, without worry or fear, express our love, it will - as an unexpected/unintended consequence - put an emphasis on the sexual aspect and therefore increase sexual health risks.
22. 2013-12-06 08:15  
Limoncello- everything easier said than done, takes time, we can and will make it happen
23. 2013-12-06 13:28  
We have to be responsible to ourselves. We only have ONE life and don't waste it by doing something that will regret you at the end.
Comment edited on 2013-12-06 13:31:13
Comment #24 was deleted by its author on 2013-12-07 11:20
25. 2013-12-10 17:38  
Fridae seems on standby since Nov. 29?
26. 2013-12-14 18:10  
off course you have missunderstanding of what i had written because I did not write too much.
You do not know about table i made :who is initiator, carrier, Religion
Which Religion, why carrier, etc.
What is unconsciousness mean., etc

See : will you have purpose to kill yourself? you probably choose to kill others. Will your country spread virus to your citizen?

make correlation :
See : which countries having low and high risk of HIV/AIDS.


you also do not know on which responsibilities are.
sex education in biology that mention HIV/AIDS

Many educated people got HIV/AIDS.
I got education on AIDS/HIV since i was at secondary school.
It had been more than 15 years ago, and Then many Indonesian Got HIV. Media told us on HIV/AIDS every year too.
People giving free condom every year since more than 10 years ago, that was in indonesia.

Yes, if you do not know something, it will be hard.
Please, do not use old book. make new.

You should not blame gay/LBT people too.
They only victims of Politic.
They're just Unconsciousness carrier.













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