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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”


Japanese Release AIDS Statistics
Wednesday, 5 February 2003

TOKYO - A total of 5,121 people in Japan have reportedly tested positive for HIV through December of 2002, an increase of 139 from three months earlier, Japan's health authorities said in a statement Friday.

Seventy-seven of the new cases were transmitted via male-to-male sexual contact, the Associated Press quotes Makoto Iwakura of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Forty-five of the new cases were contracted through heterosexual contact.

Are Japan's counts artifically low?




There were no reported cases of transmission through infected needles in Japan, where drug use of that kind is relatively rare.

Also during the October-December period, 61 HIV-positive people developed full blown AIDS, bringing Japan's total number of AIDS patients to 2,549, Iwakura said. Four other patients died from AIDS in the period, he added.

Critics of the ministry's official AIDS tally say actual numbers of Japanese with HIV are likely to be substantially higher, given the pronounced social stigma in Japan still associated with the disease.


The ministry's committee on AIDS surveillance began meeting every three months to compile statistics in 1984, when Japan's first AIDS patient was diagnosed.

-- Editor