HIV/AIDS surveillance in Japan announced on August 27th that the total number of people newly infected with HIV in 2017 was 1,389. 976”HIV” and 413 “AIDS” cases were reported, which is fewer than the previous year. It is the first time in eleven years that the number of “HIV” and “AIDS” cases decreased to less than 1,400.
According to the survey, 709 out of 976 “HIV” cases were MSM (men who had sex with men, including bisexual
contacts). 226 out of 413 “AIDS” cases were MSM.
The ratio of “HIV” cases and “AIDS” cases have been the same in Japan for about ten years.
However, the situations surrounding MSM have started changing lately, which was pointed out in the seminar held during TOKYO AIDS WEEKS 2017. (TOKYO AIDS WEEKS 2017 is a HIV prevention program held in Nakano, one of the towns with the largest percentages of gay citizens). It has shown that HIV virus is untransmittable if the viral load is undetectable(Undetectable=Untransmittable). In addition to that, PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is getting used widely.
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the LGBT+ community highly recommend that people take STD tests
regularly, know their latest status, and start treatment as soon as possible.
Akta, a public health center located in Ni-chome(one of the biggest gay towns in Asia), distributes HIV self test kits on Mondays. Anyone can take a HIV test at home and know the result anonymously.
Other HIV prevention support groups are also in cooperation with local governments and regularly provide chances for MSM to take a HIV test.