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HIV Cases on Rise in Beijing

by Venkatraman on September 21, 2007 at 12:17 PM
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HIV Cases on Rise in Beijing

The Beijing municipal government registered 563 new cases of HIV/AIDS in the first half of this year, up 50 percent from the same period last year, a health department official said Thursday.

Among the new cases were 11 foreigners, 120 Beijing residents and 432 migrant Chinese from outside the city, said Zhao Tao, head of the disease control and prevention section of the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau.

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The majority of the new cases were young and middle-aged people, and men outnumbered women, said Zhao.

The city had registered 4,253 HIV/AIDS cases since 1985 by June this year, including 164 foreigners and 885 Beijing residents.

Needle sharing by drug takers and sex were the main transmission routes of the disease, accounting for 68.1 percent of the infections.
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Beijing has been backing campaigns to educate citizens on preventing infections.

In addition, compulsory urine tests are expected to be adopted to keep drug addicts clean, which is a part of a campaign, running till the end of the year, to stop the spread of illicit drugs in the city.

The municipal drug control committee has announced that those who test positive will be ordered to seek treatment at community-based rehabilitation centres, and assigned to a social worker who will monitor their progress in kicking their habits.

China reported 18,543 new cases of HIV carriers and 4,314 cases of AIDS patients in the first half of this year, bringing the accumulated cases of the disease to 214,300 by late July, Han Mengjie, an official with AIDS Control Work Committee of the State Council, said earlier this month.

He warned that the virus was seemingly spreading from high-risk groups to the general public because of factors such as unsafe sex and the migration of people infected with the virus.

Source: IANS
VEN/S
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