Okinawa on 4th place in Japan for HIV infections
The Okinawa Prefecture Health Department statistics show that Okinawa has the dubious distinction of being on the fourth place among Japan’s prefectures in diagnosed HIV infections per 100,000 people as of 2012. HIV is the sexually transmitted virus that can lead to AIDS if left untreated.
Officials at the department say HIV infections are also on increase in Okinawa. They say while the number people who have been diagnosed HIV positive, and are undergoing drug treatment, is increasing, the number of people who take the test to detect the virus is decreasing.
The number of patients who have been diagnosed HIV positive, and are under treatment in the prefecture, was 19 in 2012. A total of 232 persons in Okinawa have been diagnosed to have HIV since 1987, and 93 percent of them are male.
A professor at the University of the Ryukyus says the number of people who take the HIV test is low, and he emphasizes that an early detection is very important in order to control the disease before the onset of a full-blown AIDS. An early detection makes is possible stop the spread of the infection.
Health care centers in Okinawa are offering free HIV tests from June 3 through 21st. Those who are tested can remain anonymous.