Percentage Of People Living With AIDS At Time Of HIV Diagnosis Higher In Rural Areas Of Japan

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The percentage of people in Japan who already have progressed to AIDS when they are newly diagnosed as being HIV-positive is higher in rural areas than in urban areas -- a finding that highlights the discrepancies in the country's HIV/AIDS control efforts -- according to a study recently released by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Kyodo News reports.

According to the study, although HIV testing systems in urban areas are inadequate, local governments in rural areas are even less prepared to administer HIV tests. The ministry called on local governments in rural areas to create HIV testing programs that take a person's privacy into consideration. According to the study, of the 1,358 new HIV diagnoses recorded nationwide in 2006, 406 people, or an average of 29.9%, had progressed to AIDS.


In urban areas in the Aichi region, 22.6% of new HIV diagnoses were among people who had progressed to AIDS, compared with 42.3% in rural areas. In Sapporo in the Hokkaido region, 27.3% of new HIV diagnoses in urban areas were among people living with AIDS, compared with 83.3% in the region's rural areas.

The study was based on data from nine regions, including Fukuoka, Hokkaido and Osaka. The ministry aims to reduce by 25% the percentage of people living with AIDS when they are newly diagnosed with HIV by 2010, Kyodo News reports (Kyodo News, 10/13).

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