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Expert warns worsening AIDS infection
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China sees increasing cases of AIDS infection and wider spread of the disease among the public, an anti-AIDS expert has warned, calling for immediate measures.

China reported 218,107 AIDS cases by the end of August this year, with an increase of 3,807 cases in August, said Dai Zhicheng, director of the Chinese Association of STD (sexually transmitted disease) & AIDS Prevention and Control.

In central Henan and southwestern Yunnan provinces, the reported infected cases exceeded 30,000, Dai said at a recent seminar to raise people's awareness of AIDS in Liaoning Province.

Some western areas, including the Tibet Autonomous Region, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province, and northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region reported less than 2,000 infection cases, he said.

The disease is mainly transmitted by sex and needle sharing of drug users, which account for 43.6 percent and 44.3 percent of the total infections respectively.

The rate of HIV infections among drug users rose from 1.95 percent in 1998 to 7.5 percent in 2006. The rate of HIV infections among male homosexuals stayed between 1 percent to 4 percent, according to the monitoring data obtained by Dai's association.

China's anti-AIDS efforts are hampered by many factors, including inadequate publicity and funding, inefficient health care facilities in rural areas and ineffective control on floating population, said Dai.

The increasing number of floating population and drug users also pose difficulties for the campaign against AIDS.

He suggested compulsory urine test be adopted to keep drug addicts clean and anti-AIDS knowledge be made well-known among migrated population in the hope of curbing the virus spread.

(Xinhua News Agency November 11, 2007)

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