China's Ministry of Health said Monday morning the government had allocated roughly 10 billion yuan (US$1.46 billion) to two projects on infectious disease control and new drugs research and development.
Ministry spokesman Mao Qun'an said the ministry planned 1,161 research topics in the two primary fields to be carried out by the year 2010.
The ministry's mid-term R&D outline encourages Chinese medical researchers to develop new drugs and improve the prevention and cure of infectious diseases, such as AIDS and hepatitis, by the year 2020.
The ministry's December figures show China has about 264,000 confirmed HIV carriers, 78,000 of whom are AIDS patients. AIDS is now emerging as a major health concern to the Chinese.
The ministry said December that AIDS, rabies, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and hemorrhagic fever were the top five killers, accounting for 94 percent of the infectious disease deaths in November.
(Xinhua News Agency January 12, 2009)