Reports from the AIDS Control Work Committee of China's State Council give that there are 18,543 new cases of HIV carriers and 4,314 cases of full-blown AIDS, recorded in the first half of this year.
According to Han Mengjie, assistant director of the office, 2039 people died from the disease during the same period. In addition, by July end, the accumulated number of AIDS/HIV patients in China totaled 214,300, of which people with full-blown symptoms of the disease, numbered 56,758. These figures are an increase by 5 percent of those from the month of April.
Mengjie was speaking at a recent symposium sponsored by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the office with AIDS Control Work Committee of the State Council, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, and Henan Provincial Government in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province.
Mengjie has cited drug abuse as the major form of newly reported HIV infections across the country. He warns that the virus is observed to be spreading from high-risk groups to the general public mainly because of unsafe sex and as well as the migration of persons already infected with the virus.
Once stigmatizing AIDS as a disease of the West, China is now increasingly open about it. The United Nations estimates the true number of the killer disease in the country to be around 650,000.
Beijing is now backing campaigns to educate citizens on preventing infections, and victims infected through reckless commercial blood collection.