The much used Internet that enabled gay men contact in Hong Kong has been in a way responsible for HIV infection among 20 men according to a latest report.
Government health officials found all 20, who met between November 2003 and November 2005, had HIV with similar gene sequencing, the South China Morning Post reported.
The discovery was made when all the men sought medical help after contracting HIV by having unprotected sex with multiple partners they met through the Internet. It was later confirmed by a Health Department spokesperson.
'Those affected are believed to have had multiple sex partners and participated in sex activities arranged through the Internet,' the spokesperson said.
The revelation came after Hong Kong recorded its highest ever annual number of HIV cases in 2005. A total of 313 new HIV cases were reported to the territory's Department of Health in 2005, 17 percent more than the 268 cases reported in 2004, health officials said.
One third of the cases involved heterosexual exposure to the virus, while just under one third came through homosexual or bisexual contact.
According to the Department of Health, the total number of HIV cases in Hong Kong, which has a population of 6.8 million, is now 2,835 since 1984.