Hong Kong saw a 17-percent jump in the number of new HIV infections in 2012, driven mainly by sexual transmission, data showed Wednesday, bucking a regional trend of decline.
Health authorities said 513 new infections were recorded last year, compared to 438 in 2011, taking the total number of cumulative cases to 5,783 since 1984.
Of the 513 new cases, the Centre for Health Protection said nearly half were infected "via homosexual or bisexual exposure", followed by heterosexual contact and drug injection.
"They should use a condom for safer sex to reduce the risk of contracting HIV," Wong Ka-hing, a special preventive programme consultant at the centre said.
The number of people living with HIV worldwide rose from 33.5 million in 2010 to 34 million in 2011, according to UNAIDS. Asia has seen a slight decline in new infections -- from 4,700 cases in 2001 to 4,500 in 2009.
In China however, a total of 68,802 new HIV cases were reported in the first 10 months of last year, bringing the total to nearly half a million according to state media.