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Scientists Call for Attention to AIDS Control and Cure

 Twenty-two prestigious Chinese scientists have warned that AIDS would become a "nationwide scourge" in 10 years' time, unless prompt, efficient prevention and control measures were taken.

The experts gave such warnings when reporting on the progress of the "121 Joint Action Plan", which, launched in March this year, is to end on Dec. 1 -- World AIDS Day. With "Live and Let Live" as the theme, the plan is sponsored by the Chinese Foundation for Prevention of STD and AIDS, a professional AIDS prevention and control institution.

According to relevant official breakdowns, China has about one million AIDS carriers, scattered in all 31 provinces and autonomous regions nationwide. However, experts hold that the actual number of carriers is bigger and that the figure would possibly exceed 10 million in the year 2010, if no adequate timely and essential measures are taken.

Zeng Yi, a renowned AIDS expert with the Chinese Ministry of Health, remarked that both the government and the public underestimated the possibility that AIDS might be widely epidemic in next 10 years.

The society as a whole was not fully aware of the importance and urgency of AIDS prevention and control and there remained a lot to be done in terms of policy making, extensive publicity and scientific researches, he acknowledged.

Zeng said it was of vital importance to increase the awareness of the general public.

In view of a fund shortage in AIDS prevention and control, scientists hoped that the industry and business circles would initially support the plan.

The industry and business communities play a crucial part in today's society, and their financial support to AIDS prevention and control would be useful, meaningful and respectable, said He Zuoxiu, a noted academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The plan's committee set this November as "AIDS Care Month", which is expected to feature a host of charity activities including a benefit performance in the Great Hall of the People on Dec. 1.

(Xinhua News Agency October 24, 2003)

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