In affluent countries, some people may go abroad specifically for HIV testing or care for greater anonymity, better treatment, and less discrimination. A secondary analysis of data from the San Francisco Department of Public Health was conducted to characterize trends in AIDS incidence, AIDS care, sexually transmitted disease (STD) incidence, and HIV counselling and testing among Japanese in San Francisco. A total of 96 AIDS cases were diagnosed among ethnic Japanese, of whom 32 were born in Japan. From 1985 to 2000, 144 gonorrhoea and chlamydia cases were identified among Japanese. Of 368 self-identified Japanese seeking HIV counselling from 1995 to 1997, three (0.9%) were HIV-positive. The HIV/AIDS and STD epidemics among Japanese in San Francisco temporally parallels, but lags behind in magnitude, the epidemics for San Francisco's population as a whole. Some persons from Japan actively seek HIV/STD services while abroad. Our study points to several areas needing further research and improvements.
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