Economic losses brought by AIDS to China in the coming five years are estimated to exceed 300 billion yuan ($42.25 billion), said a renowned AIDS expert here Wednesday.
At a conference of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Zeng Yi, chief scientist with the STD (sexually-transmitted diseases) and AIDS prevention centre under the ministry of health, said the losses of human resources caused by AIDS in China are estimated to reach 285.57 billion yuan ($35.6 billion) from 2006 to 2010.
Citing the calculation of economist Li Jingwen, another CAS member, Zeng said the disease would also cause a loss of 16.45 billion yuan ($2.05 billion) to the productivity and GDP in the agricultural sector.
China's ministry of health estimated that there are about 650,000 HIV/AIDS cases in China, including 75,000 AIDS patients.
The number of Chinese newly infected with HIV/AIDS was around 70,000 in 2005, and 25,000 Chinese died of AIDS last year.
Among China's HIV/AIDS cases, 49.8 percent were transmitted by unsafe sex, 48.6 percent by drug injection, and 1.6 percent from mothers to babies, Zeng said.