Guangdong Alert to Soaring AIDS Cases

The number of AIDS patients and HIV carriers has rocketed in south China’s Guangdong Province in recent years.

Guangdong, which borders Hong Kong and Macao, saw a total of 570 HIV carriers and 13 AIDS patients during the January-October period this year, a huge rise from the same period of the previous year.

By the end of October, a total of 1,341 HIV carriers and 78 AIDS patients had been detected in the whole province, the fourth largest HIV and AIDS toll in the country.

Yunnan Province in southwest China is the worst hit region, followed by the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the northwest and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the south.

This year, Guangdong detected its first case of HIV being passed down from mother to son.

Public health experts predict that Guangdong may soon have more than 20,000 AIDS patients and HIV carriers in the province.

Feng Liuxiang, deputy director of Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Public Health, said AIDS is a serious threat to Guangdong.

More than 75 percent of the AIDS patients and HIV carriers were found in the cities of Guangzhou, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Yangjiang in the Pearl River Delta.

About 90 percent of the AIDS victims were men. A total of 939 AIDS victims, including 48 patients, were Guangdong residents, who are enjoying their most prosperous period since China opened its doors to the outside world in the late 1970s.

Most of the victims were drug addicts and homosexuals. Some contracted AIDS during casual sexual activities.

Feng said public awareness must be dramatically elevated to prevent the spread of AIDS.

“People should keep away from drugs, shun casual sex and be faithful to their spouses to prevent AIDS from spreading,” Feng said.

Guangdong detected its first HIV carrier in 1986 and the number of cases increased to four in 1989. But AIDS and HIV have spread rapidly since the 1990s.

Feng predicted that the number of AIDS patients and HIV carriers in Guangdong would only grow more when the province opened wider to the outside world and more local residents traveled abroad on holiday in coming years.

(China Daily 11/30/2000)

In This Series

State Alert as STDs on the Rise

AIDS Cases on the Increase

Turning to the Law in War on HIV and AIDS



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