Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
With HIV/AIDS Cases Increasing in China, Officials Want to Strengthen Prevention, Messages in ‘Homosexual Community’
China recorded a higher number of HIV and AIDS cases in the first nine months of 2001 than it did during all of 2000, according to China Youth Daily. The AP/Nando Times reports that China registered 5,616 new HIV infections during the first nine months of 2001, compared to 5,201 infections recorded last year. The number of AIDS cases rose from 233 last year to 328 during the first nine months of 2001. The statistics, which were released by the Chinese government on Saturday, cited intravenous drug use and the "thriving sex trade" for the increase in HIV infections (AP/Nando Times, 10/27). However, Chinese health officials said that unprotected sex, especially among homosexuals, "threatened to overtake" IV drug use as the leading cause of HIV transmission. Vice Health Minister Yin Dakui said, "Although there are no statistics on homosexual behavior in our country, one thing is sure, the number of homosexuals is alarming. ... We must pay important attention to the spread of AIDS through our country's homosexual community and cannot be lax in strengthening education among the high-risk homosexual community" (South China Morning Post, 10/28). Homosexual contact accounted for 0.2% of new HIV infections, AP/Nando Times reports. The report stated that there are 28,133 recorded HIV infections in China, but health experts say that "at least" 600,000 Chinese are HIV-positive (AP/Nando Times, 10/27). China will host its first national conference on HIV/AIDS Nov. 13-16 in Beijing. The conference will include "top health officials," medical experts and global organizations and will address topics such as financing, legislation, research, prevention and public awareness. The conference is being touted as "China's contribution" to World AIDS Day, which is Dec. 1 (Min, China Daily, 10/27).
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