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China to Bring HIV Spread Under Control by 2020

by Sheela Philomena on February 17, 2011 at 10:04 AM
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 China to Bring HIV Spread Under Control by 2020

China warned of high prevalence of spread of HIV/AIDS in some areas. Officials state that the condition is hopeless and calling for better prevention and treatment of the disease. The HIV virus that causes AIDS was mostly sexually transmitted in China, with rates of infection among homosexual men increasing, and called for the disease to be brought under full control by 2020.

"The disease in some areas and population groups has become highly prevalent and many HIV carriers and patients have not yet been discovered," the State Council, China's cabinet, said in a statement.

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The statement did not specify which areas of the country were particularly affected.

According to Chinese authorities, at least 740,000 people have HIV/AIDS in the country, out of a total population of 1.3 billion, although advocates for patients believe the real figure could be much higher.
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Long a taboo in China, the government has now started talking more openly about HIV prevention and control.

The State Council called on local governments across the country to protect the legal rights of HIV carriers and AIDS patients.

But despite this, harassment of some independent campaigners and organizations still continues.

Tian Xi, a 24-year-old activist who has campaigned for compensation for thousands of people who contracted HIV through transfusions, was jailed for a year in central China last week.

He was accused of smashing up equipment in the hospital where he says he received transfusions of tainted blood as a child, but activists say local authorities had demanded he be detained before his arrest.

Source: AFP
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