Hong Kong says it had a record-setting 268 new cases of HIV infection in 2004.

Dr. S.S. Lee, a consultant for the territory's Health Department, says increased traffic between Hong Kong and China is partly to blame for the rise in HIV cases. China is one of many east Asian nations with a growing AIDS crisis.

Dr. Lee says the majority of the new HIV cases came from sexual transmission, while a smaller number contracted the virus from contaminated needles.

However, the number of AIDS cases dropped from 56 in 2003 to 49 last year.

Dr. Lee says an estimated 3,000 people in Hong Kong either have HIV or AIDS.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.