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Hong Kong - HIV Test Shock Sparks Warning

Hong Kong's Department of Health urges people with history of unprotected sex to have an HIV test, as they fear a rapid local HIV transmission.// The announcement being the first case of such magnitude in the territory.

Health officials, on Thursday uncovered two clusters of HIV infections, HIV-1 subtype B, turned up during analysis of blood samples by government scientists. They said that both the clusters found to be having similar gene sequencing affecting both homosexual and heterosexuals, warning inaction could result in a wider outbreak.

Wong Ka-Hing, a Consultant with the Department of Health’s Center for Health Protection said that the investigations have so far revealed that these cases may be linked and unprotected sex is the likely cause.

The first cluster of HIV infection comprised 34 men aged 22 to 54. Of them, 27 were Chinese. All these cases were reported between November 2003 and September this year. The second cluster comprised 12 Chinese men aged 34 to 67. These cases were reported between May 2004 and September this year and Wong said that there might many others who are not diagnosed yet.

"It is anticipated that the two clusters will continue to grow in numbers," he said, adding that women may be affected as well.

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