AIDS Cases on the Increase

The registered number of HIV/AIDS cases on the Chinese mainland had risen to 20,711 by the end of September, the Ministry of Health announced Tuesday in Beijing.

But medical experts believe the actual figure is much higher. They estimate the real number hit 500,000 at the end of last year.

The vast majority of infected people do not come forward because they are afraid of being despised or feared by others if they tell the truth.

According to the ministry, 37.3 percent more cases were reported in the last nine months compared to the same period last year.

Of registered patients with HIV/AIDS, 741 have developed AIDS, which is fatal. Another 397 have died.

Most of the patients live in rural areas and 83 percent are male between the ages of 20 and 39, according to the ministry.

Drug users sharing needles is the major channel for spreading HIV/AIDS infection in China, making up 72 percent of the total reported cases. Sexually transmitted diseases are another factor blamed on the rapid increase in cases, said Yin Dakui, vice-minister of health.

He called on the whole of society to go to war against HIV/AIDS, stressing men are particularly important in this fight.

In a bid to arouse public awareness about the role men can play in HIV/AIDS control, the United Nations has made the slogan “man makes a difference” the theme for this year’s World AIDS Day, which falls on December 1.

For the event, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with other state departments, will carry out a series of activities to mark the day.

A massive publicity campaign will be organized, with information put out along railways and in urban areas. A publicity week will be launched at Peking University on December 1.

The Ministry of Health has produced two TV advertisements that will be broadcasted on national and local television stations next month.

A number of public figures, such as movie stars and writers, are joining the campaign to fight HIV/AIDS.

(China Daily 11/1/2000)

In This Series

Campaign Launched for Men's Health

Turning to the Law in War on HIV and AIDS

Experts Estimate 600,000-1 Million AIDS Victims in China



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