China Begins HIV/AIDS Treatment, Prevention Programs, Must Boost Efforts To Fight Stigma, WHO Official Says
China has begun to implement effective national HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, care and support programs but needs to boost efforts to destigmatize the disease, Wiwat Rojanapithayakorn, HIV/AIDS team leader for the World Health Organization's Beijing office, said during a presentation at a regional conference Monday, Xinhua/People's Daily reports. Speaking at the East Asian Regional Cooperation in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Conference in Beijing, Wiwat said the country needs to build its HIV/AIDS response, even within the framework of a frail health care system. Wu Zunyou, director of the National Center for AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections Control under the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the country has increased HIV testing and surveillance by creating 329 surveillance sites, 2,850 no-cost testing clinics and 3,756 screening labs, according to Xinhua/People's Daily. "By 2010, China will have limited people living with HIV/AIDS to no more than 1.5 million," Wu said, citing a recently released five-year plan by the government (Xinhua/People's Daily , 7/11). The Chinese government estimates that there are 650,000 HIV-positive people in the country, 75,000 of whom have developed AIDS. According to the government, in 2005 there were 70,000 new cases of HIV and 25,000 AIDS-related deaths and the country's current HIV/AIDS prevalence is approximately 0.05% (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/8). China's CDC said it plans to sign an agreement on Tuesday for a $121.2 million grant from the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to fight the three diseases, $28.9 million of which will go toward fighting HIV/AIDS in seven provinces and regions (Xinhua/People's Daily , 7/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.