A total of 7,593 people in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region had contracted the deadly HIV virus, which causes AIDS, by late June this year, sources from the regional Red Cross said.
This places the region second in the country in terms of the number of AIDS patients.
Most of the AIDS virus carriers in the region are aged 20 to 40, and 98 percent contracted the deadly disease via intravenous drug abuse, said an expert with the Consulting and Training Center for Prevention and Control of AIDS and STD (sexually transmitted diseases) of the regional Red Cross.
According to the expert, the Red Cross has set up specialized offices in Ili, Hami, Changji, and Urumqi to monitor the spread of AIDS and to increase awareness about the fatal disease in these areas.
The first AIDS case in Xinjiang was found in 1995.
(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2003)