New AIDS, HIV cases hit record high in Japan
Japan noted record-high numbers of new AIDS diagnoses and HIV infections in 2001, with 621 new infections and 332 new AIDS cases reported, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health. The number of new HIV infections in 2001 was 39% higher than that reported in 2000. Men under age 29 accounted for 38% of the total number of new infections. Health officials say that the increases are due to rising rates of unprotected sex, particularly among young people, and decreased HIV education and prevention efforts by the nation's business sector, which had spearheaded AIDS education in the 1980s and 1990s. The Ministry of Health estimates that there will be 50,000 HIV-positive people living in Japan by 2010.