Although China Has Low HIV Prevalence, Situation Serious in Some Provinces Affected by Drug Trafficking, Illegal Blood Donations, Officials Say
While the HIV prevalence in China remains low, the situation in several provinces affected by drug trafficking and illegal blood donations is serious, senior HIV/AIDS control officials said on Saturday, Xinhua/China Daily reports.
According to Hao Yang, deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control at the Ministry of Health, a total of 214,000 HIV cases were registered in the country for this year on July 30, but "still many HIV-positive people are not registered as having the disease." According to the last major survey -- which was conducted by the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization and UNAIDS -- the estimated number of HIV-positive people in the country was 650,000. "On one hand, the prevalence is still low compared with the total population of 1.3 billion, but on the other hand, [650,000] is a large number," Hao said.
To combat the spread of HIV/AIDS, the government has implemented policies, including universal no-cost HIV tests, as well as treatment for low-income people, pregnant women and people living in rural areas, Xinhua/China Daily reports. In addition, provincial disease control departments now report new HIV cases to the central government directly using a computer network instead of the postal system. The government also has launched campaigns to increase public awareness about the disease, and hotels in major cities since 2005 have been required to provide condoms, Xinhua/China Daily reports.
Wu Zhunyou, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said, "We can't fully control the spread of AIDS in a short time. That's why more preventive efforts must be made" (Xinhua/China Daily, 9/29).