China Expected To Release Updated Estimates of HIV/AIDS Cases, Ministry of Health Official Says
China is expected to release updated estimates of the number of HIV/AIDS cases in the country "soon", Mao Qun'an, a spokesperson for the country's Ministry of Health, said on Tuesday, Xinhuanet reports (Xinhuanet, 1/11). The Chinese government's unreleased estimate of the number of HIV/AIDS cases in the country -- based on 2004 screenings of groups at "high risk" of contracting the virus -- is lower than the 2003 estimate of 840,000 people, Hao Yang, deputy director of disease control for the health ministry, said. The new estimate is based on modeling techniques and is the result of a cooperative effort among China, the World Health Organization and UNAIDS. Bates Gill, a researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and an expert on China, in November 2005 said the government might be concealing new estimates of the number of HIV-positive people in the country because the numbers are lower than previously publicized figures and could erode the country's credibility (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/6/05). Mao said the ministry, UNAIDS and WHO are making a "final appraisal" of the estimates, adding that the numbers "are expected to be announced soon." Gao Qiang, China's health minister, has said the country "will keep the number of HIV-positive people below 1.5 million by 2010" (Xinhuanet, 1/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.