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China to publish updated estimates of AIDS/HIV epidemic soon
 
 
  China will publish the updated estimates of AID/HIV epidemic soon, said Mao Qun'an, the spokesman for the Ministry of Health (MOH), Tuesday.
 
"Last year, the MOH, the United Nations Aids Programme (UNAIDS) and the Worlds Health Organization (WHO) jointly estimated China's AIDS epidemic, and the three parts are now making a final appraisal of the estimates," he said.
 
"The updated estimates are expected to be announced soon jointly by the three parts," he added.
 
According to the estimates jointly published by the MOH and the UNAIDS work group in 2003, China had about 840,000 HIV carriers and nearly 80,000 AIDS patients.
 
The Chinese government increased its spending on AIDS prevention work to 800 million yuan (99.10 million US dollars) in 2005 from 100 million yuan (12.39 million US dollars) in 2002.
 
By the end of 2004, China had set up 247 country-level AIDS surveillance stations while the disease prevention and control institutions at all levels had establish special working groups for AIDS prevention.
 
Health minister Gao Qiang said earlier that China will keep the number of HIV-positive people below 1.5 million by 2010.
 
Source: Xinhua
 
Over 5,800 AIDS patients in China receive TCM treatment
 
www.chinaview.cn 2006-01-11 16:32:02
 
BEIJING, Jan. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- There are currently more than 5,800 AIDS patients receiving traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatment in China, said the country's top TCM official here on Tuesday.
 
She Jing, director of the State Administration of TCM, said 3,500 AIDS patients in China are undergoing TCM treatment through government-funded trial programs in 11 provinces and another 2,305 are provided with such treatment in 15 health institutions in 19 provinces.
 
"It's been proved that TCM can treat some infectious diseases caused by the AIDS virus and improve patients' ability to tolerate the pain brought on by Western drugs," said She.
 
According to the Ministry of Health, China has an accumulated number of 135,630 HIV infections and 31,143 AIDS patients. But a joint appraisal released in Dec., 2003 said the country's HIV carriers had exceeded 840,000 and 80,000 people have full-blown AIDS.
 
"Drug Cocktails" are by far the most effective AIDS treatment in the world and four lines of drugs have been developed. However, most Chinese patients can only afford the first line or second line drugs which are less effective but much cheaper.
 
She said her administration plans to extend TCM treatment programs to 14 provinces in 2006, and it will continue to assess the effectiveness of TCM treatment on China's HIV carriers and AIDS patients.
 
Spending on HIV-AIDS prevention set to double
 
China will spend an average of more than 1.5 billion yuan (US$185 million) annually in the next two years for prevention and control of HIV/AIDS almost double the 800 million yuan (US$98.7 million) earmarked for this year, Xinhua reported yesterday.
 
The government spent an average of 600 million (US$74 million) each year in 2003 and 2004, and only about 100 million yuan (US$12.3 million) in 2001, according to a 1998-2004 report on Chinese youth.
 
The report was published by the China Youth and Children Research Centre and the Department of International Communications of the Central Committee of the China Communist Youth League.
 
Experts estimate that China had 840,000 HIV-infected people by the end of last year, including 80,000 AIDS patients.
 
Of the HIV positive, 82 per cent were between the ages of 20 and 39, and 7.4 per cent were below 19, said the report.
 
The government has pledged to keep the number of HIV-positive people below 1.5 million by 2010.
 
In addition to drafting a raft of medium- and long-term plans for HIV/AIDS prevention and control, China has stepped up efforts to spread awareness of drug abuse, puberty, sex, free blood donations, narcotics control and sexually transmitted diseases.
 
Of the 1.07 million registered drug addicts on the mainland by the end of last year, the number of young addicts was 755,000.
 
The report said the number of those taking new drugs such as "ice" is expanding.
 
Source: China Daily
 
China finds 40,000 HIV positive among two mlllion people
 
More than 40,000 were found HIV positive out of about 2 million people in initial AIDS screenings this year in China, said Health Minister Gao Qiang Wednesday at a press conference.
 
These people included paid blood donors, drug addicts and employees in entertainment sites.
 
China is carrying out an assessment of the country's AIDS epidemic situation together with experts from the World Health Organization and the United Nations, Gao said.
 
"The assessment will reflect China's AIDS situation in a more objective and accurate way," he said. "We'll publicize the results in time."
 
China's state-grade AIDS monitoring sites rose to 247 in late 2004, a sharp comparison with 194 at the end of 2003.
 
China has so far organized 2,686 working teams specially designed for AIDS prevention among high-risk people.
 
Source: Xinhuav
 
China spends more on AIDS/HIV prevention, control
 
China has planned to spend 3.86 billion yuan (about 476 million U.S. dollars) on AID/HIV prevention and control efforts in three years beginning from this year.
 
The central government has attached great importance to HIV/AIDS prevention and control work, with the financial support in this regard keeping rising, according to a report on development of Chinese youth for 1998-2004 period.
 
The report was published by China Youth and Children Research Center and the Department of International Communications with the Central Committee of the China Communist Youth League.
 
According to the report, the state coffers shed 1.2 billion yuan on HIV/AIDS prevention and control between 2003 and 2004, comparing 100 million yuan in 2001.
 
In addition to drafting a range of median and long-term plans concerning HIV/AIDS prevention and control, China has also constructed 127 demonstration zones across the country with the mission of preventing and controlling HIV/AIDS in a comprehensive way.
 
In the meantime, relevant departments have also stepped up efforts to publicize knowledge on puberty, sex, blood donation gratis, narcotics control, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
 
Special lectures on HIV/AIDS prevention and control, prohibition of narcotics and environmental protection were given at all primary and middle schools across the country starting from the spring semester in 2003.
 
Courses featuring prevention and control of HIV/AIDS are offered at all Chinese colleges of higher learning and middle schools by this year.
 
China had about 840,000 HIV carriers by late 2004. Out of the reported HIV carriers, 82 percent were people aged 20 to 39, and 7.4 percent were teenagers below the age of 19, said the report.
 
More methadone clinics built in China to curtail AIDS/HIV spreading
 
China has so far built 128 methadone clinics since February 2003, when the country began to embrace the practice of setting up community-based centers offering methadone to heroin addicts.
 
Of the total, 29 are in southwest China's Yunnan, a province that shares border with Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, according to an on-going national exchange meeting on experimental work concerning community methadone substitution medication for heroin addicts.
 
The Chinese government initiated in May 2001 an action plan for curbing and preventing AID/HIV during the 2001-2005 period, trumpeting the idea of carrying out an experimental work with methadone substitution medication among heroin addicts at community-based medical organizations.
 
In cooperation with the State Food and Drug Administration, the Chinese ministries of health and public security embarked on the experimental work concerning community methadone substitution medication for heroin addicts by drafting a provisional plan on the experimental work in February 2003, plus a joint national working group for the effort.
 
And eight medical organizations in Sichuan, Zhejiang, Yunnan, Guizhou provinces and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region were chosen as the first group of organizations authorized to conduct the experimental work in December 2003.
 
According to experts, taking methadone -- a synthesized narcotic -- helps depress addicts' drug desire and avoid the use of hypodermic needles that can spread HIV which leads to AIDS currently with no-cure, as well as other blood-transmitted diseases. Moreover, those who take methadone are able to work and return to normal life instead of looking sleepy all day after taking heroin.
 
Government regulations stipulate that only drug users who have been discharged from official detoxification centers can qualify for the methadone program.
 
China now has about 840,000 HIV carriers, including some 80,000 AIDS patients, and sharing of hypodermic syringes is considered as an important way for AID/HIV spreading.
 
Source: Xinhua
 
China pledges to control spread of HIV/AIDS
 
China will contain the number of HIV carriers to less than 1.5 million by the end of 2010, Health Minister Gao Qiang pledged Wednesdayon the eve of World AIDS Day.
 
The central government is spending 800 million yuan (US$99 million) on prevention efforts this year, up from 100 million yuan in 2002, the minister said, adding that China was capable of effectively containing the spread of the virus.
 
"AIDS prevention is an issue related to the quality of the population, economic development, social stability and the rise or decline of the country," Gao told a news conference.
 
The number of HIV carriers in the country was estimated at 840,000 at the end of last year following an investigation by the ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO).
 
But there were only 135,630 cases, including 31,143 AIDS patients, registered till the end of September, which means a majority of HIV carriers who may or may not know they are infected have not been identified.
 
Gao said that the ministry and the WHO estimate that China has 70,000 AIDS patients.
 
Some experts have warned that if no effective measures are taken immediately, the number of HIV carriers in the country could increase to 10 million in 2010.
 
China started to move aggressively against the disease in the late 1990s when outbreaks were found among blood sellers.
 
As the virus spread, government funding also increased rapidly: In 1997, only about 20 million yuan (US$2.4 million) was spent on AIDS prevention and control; this year, the figure has risen 40-fold.
 
The virus, which first appeared in 1985, has spread to all 31 provinces and regions on the Chinese mainland.
 
Of the infected cases, people who sold blood in the early 1990s in such provinces as Henan, Shanxi and Sichuan account for 23 per cent; drug abusers, 40 per cent; and those who indulge in unsafe sex, 9 per cent. It is not clear how the remaining contracted the disease.
 
While cases of infection through blood transmission have come down since the late 1990s, health authorities are worried about drug abuse and unsafe commercial sex, which are illegal and hard to monitor.
 
Unsafe sexual contact will become a major channel for the spread of HIV/AIDS from high-risk groups to the general public, Gao warned.
 
According to reports from surveillance sites, the HIV infection rate among prostitutes has soared from 2 per 10,000 in 1996 to 93 per 10,000 in 2004.
 
In some regions where the disease is widespread, mother-to-child infection has also been on the rise.
 
In 2004, spot tests in hospitals showed that 26 of 10,000 pregnant women were infected in Yunnan Province compared to none in 1997.
 
About 77 per cent of the HIV/AIDS cases are in Yunnan, Henan, Xinjiang, Guangxi, and Guangdong.
 
The government has stepped up public education, expanded HIV testing to more people and increased epidemic surveillance.
 
At least 2 million people, including blood sellers, drug abusers, and employees in the entertainment industry, have received free HIV tests provided by the government.
 
The number of surveillance sites increased from 194 in 2003 to 247 last year.
 
Work on HIV control and treatment of AIDS patients has been listed as an important criterion to evaluate the performance of government officials, Gao said.
 
Those who do not fare well in epidemic surveillance or fail to implement policies, such as free medical treatment for AIDS patients and free education for their children, face censure or punishment.
 
Source: China Daily
 
 
 
 
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