TAIPEI - A 13 year-old boy has become the youngest person to become infected with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) through sexual intercourse, according to health officials.
It is suspected that the boy became infected while working part-time for a 50 year-old male, who lured him into sex with money, said Lin Ting, deputy director-general at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The boy was visiting an adolescent center when he tested positive for AIDS, Lin said, adding that the CDC had traced the source of transmission to the older man, whose test also came back positive.
Lin noted that young boys were referred to as "Sky Food," or delicious food falling from the sky, by adult homosexuals on the internet, who seek ways of enticing boys either with money or other incentives.
According to statistics compiled last year, the number of young people contracting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has continued to rise in Taiwan.
Compared to 2009, 13.3 percent more cases were diagnosed among those aged between 15 and 24 years old, the deputy director-general said. As of today, there are 55 cases where victims are under 19 years old.
Lin pointed out that sexual encounters and drug injections are the two major routes of infection. With the HIV/AIDS population in Taiwan standing at 20,057, and 65.9 percent of those with the disease were infected by engaging in sexual practices and 32.2 percent through intravenous drug use.
As more HIV/AIDS-positive homosexuals are spreading the disease through unsafe sex, the CDC has established health websites and homosexual centers in Hsinchu, Taichung and Kaohsiung to combat the dangerous trend.