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Sino-US Cooperation on Fighting AIDS
China and the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding Friday in Washington to deepen and expand cooperation on HIV/AIDS prevention and research.

The agreement, signed by visiting Chinese Minister of Health Zhang Wenkang and his US counterpart, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, provides another example that the two countries can work together constructively.

It "proves that cooperation in the health area has occupied more and more important position in the overall relationship between our two countries," said Zhang Wenkang at the signing ceremony.

"Our constructive relationship can also further promote our partnership in the health area," he added.

The Memorandum of Understanding calls for increased collaboration in the development of effective intervention strategies to prevent HIV transmission, including new strategies to enhance blood safety and reduce HIV transmission in health care settings.

In addition, the US and China will increase efforts to improve HIV/AIDS epidemiology and surveillance in China, and will provide additional opportunities for training and exchange of scientists and health care professionals.

Also during the signing ceremony, the two health ministers announced two new initiatives that will complement the goals of the agreement.

The US Department of Health and Human Services said it will assign two personnel to the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide the local government with assistance in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

And the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has decided to award a US$14.8 million, five-year plan to the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand China's research activities in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and vaccine development, in cooperation with experts from US universities and medical schools.

The grant is part of NIH's Comprehensive International Program of Research on AIDS (CIPRA), and is the first multi-project CIPRA awarded.

"China is the first country to receive this type of grant from NIH," Secretary Thompson said.

(People's Daily June 29, 2002)

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