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Cablegate: Japan's Annual Report On Hiv/Aids for 2007

VZCZCXRO8607
RR RUEHKSO
DE RUEHKO #2893/01 2910743
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 170743Z OCT 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8003
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 0425
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 8485
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 2778
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 4171
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 0998
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 002893

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/J, OES/IHB AND S/GAC
DEPT PASS TO NIH/NIAID WESTERN
HHS FOR OGHA STEIGER AND ABDOO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO SOCI KHIV AMED KSCA JA
SUBJECT: JAPAN'S ANNUAL REPORT ON HIV/AIDS FOR 2007

TOKYO 00002893 001.3 OF 002


1. Summary: Japan reported a record 1,082 new HIV-positive cases
and 418 new AIDS cases during 2007, bringing the cumulative totals
to 9,426 and 4,468 respectively at the end of 2007. As in previous
years, Japanese males accounted for the majority of new HIV and AIDS
cases in 2007 and sexual contact was reported as the primary route
of infection. Japanese prefectures outside the Tokyo area saw an
increase in HIV/AIDS cases in 2007, but overall, the disease
remained concentrated in the Tokyo area. End summary.

--------------------------------------------- -----
Report Urges Continued Measures to Combat HIV/AIDS
--------------------------------------------- -----

2. In its Annual Report on the HIV/AIDS Epidemic for 2007, the
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare's (MHLW) AIDS Surveillance
Committee again urged the government to expand opportunities for
early stage HIV/AIDS testing and to promote active countermeasures
to prevent further HIV infections in the homosexual population. The
Committee, consisting of nine medical researchers and one patient
group representative, also urged local governments to take
appropriate action to prevent HIV from spreading in their areas of
responsibility and to better detect and provide medical treatment to
HIV/AIDS patients in the earliest stages.

---------------------------
HIV-positive Cases in 2007
---------------------------

3. According to the Annual Report, the number of HIV-positive cases
has trended upward in Japan since 1996. In 2007, a record 1,082 new
HIV cases were reported, up 130 from the prior record of 952 new
cases in 2006. Japanese males accounted for 86 percent of the total
number of cases reported. Sexual contact accounted for 87.8 percent
of new cases: 67.4 percent through homosexual and 20.4 percent
through heterosexual intercourse. Other routes of infection fell
into the following categories: intravenous drug use (0.3 percent),
unknown (9.6 percent), and other (2.3 percent). No cases of
mother-to-child HIV transmission were reported in 2007.

-------------------
AIDS Cases in 2007
-------------------

4. In 2007, 418 new AIDS cases with fully developed symptoms were
reported, up 12 from the 406 cases reported in 2006. (Note: In the
Annual Report data, new AIDS cases do not necessarily include
previously reported HIV cases that subsequently developed AIDS,
according to MHLW officials. Since 1999, doctors have been required
to report HIV and AIDS cases only at first diagnosis. End Note.)
Japanese males accounted for 82.1 percent of AIDS cases reported.
Of this group, 74.0 percent of the AIDS cases were contracted via
sexual contact, with 37.6 percent through homosexual contact and
36.8 percent through heterosexual intercourse. The remaining cases
fell into the categories of: intravenous drug use (0.7 percent),
unknown (17.9 percent) and other (6.9 percent). No new AIDS cases
resulting from mother-to-child transmission were reported in 2007.

--------------------------
Infections by Area in 2007
--------------------------

5. Infections in the areas of Kanto and Koshinetsu, including Tokyo
and the neighboring prefectures of Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama,
Chiba, Kanagawa, Niigata, Yamanashi, and Nagano, accounted for 54
percent and 47 percent of the total numbers of the country's HIV and
AIDS cases respectively in 2007. The number of HIV cases in Tokyo
has grown markedly since 1996, reaching 38.8 percent of Japan's
total HIV cases in 2007. However, the number of AIDS cases in Tokyo
accounted for 21.5 percent, down 2.9 percentage points from 2006.
The overall number of HIV/AIDS cases in other regions increased in
2007.

-------------------------
Cumulative HIV/AIDS Cases
-------------------------

6. Since the start of the national survey in 1984, a cumulative
total of 9,426 HIV cases and 4,468 AIDS cases have been logged in
Japan as of December 31, 2007. However, not included in these
statistics are the roughly 1,430 HIV and AIDS patients who
contracted the virus in the 1980s through contaminated blood
products for hemophilia patients. Since 1999, MHLW has not required

TOKYO 00002893 002.2 OF 002


doctors to report AIDS deaths separately, according to MHLW
officials. The following are the cumulative percentages of HIV
cases, listed by infection routes: 47.3 percent through homosexual
contact, 34.1 percent through heterosexual contact, 0.5 percent
through intravenous drug use, 0.3 percent through mother-to-child
transmission, 2.2 percent through other routes and 15.6 percent
through unknown routes. AIDS cases also yielded similar figures:
41.5 percent through heterosexual contact, 29.2 percent through
homosexual contact, 0.8 percent through intravenous drug use, 0.4
percent through mother-to-child transmission, 3.1 percent through
other routes and 25.0 percent through unknown routes.

7. Among the cumulative HIV cases, Japanese males accounted for
70.0 percent followed by non-Japanese females (13.5 percent),
non-Japanese males (9.9 percent), and Japanese females (6.6
percent). Among the cumulative AIDS cases, Japanese males accounted
for 73.1 percent followed by non-Japanese males (14.5 percent),
non-Japanese females (7.0 percent), and Japanese females (5.4
percent). The number of Japanese female HIV/AIDS cases remained
little changed from the year 2000 level.

-----------------------
Tokyo's Countermeasures
-----------------------

8. In a briefing for ECONOFF following the release of the Annual
Reoprt, Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) officials outlined
various countermeasures they are taking against HIV/AIDS. Tokyo
accounted for 34 percent of HIV/AIDS cases reported in Japan in
2007. In order to stop the virus' spread, TMG prioritizes promoting
HIV/AIDS tests and educational activities. The TMG has expanded
hours for HIV testing at local health centers and introduced a rapid
test that allows same-day results. The TMG also set up a center in
a popular neighborhood where young people can learn about the risks
of HIV/AIDS. At the center, young volunteers run peer education
activities such as workshops and exhibitions. TMG officials said
such efforts since 2002 have resulted in increased numbers of people
seeking HIV tests. In 2007, 28,936 people in Tokyo were tested for
HIV, double the number in 2002, according to the TMG. (Note: TMG
officials said Tokyo's lower number of AIDS cases may be the result
of better screening and treatment programs, however there have been
no studies to confirm this. End Note.) The TMG has also exchanged
information on HIV/AIDS with other Asian countries through the Asian
Network of Major Cities 21 (ANMC21), established in 2000 to address
common issues for Asian cities such as crisis management,
environmental protection, and industrial development.

SCHIEFFER

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