China is setting up a nationwide network of intervention teams to curb the transmission of HIV/AIDS, according to an official document released in Beijing Wednesday by the Ministry of Health.
Disease prevention and control centers at all levels are required to have the teams set up this October. They will target high-risk populations, mainly injection drug users (IDU), sex workers and homosexuals.
About 840,000 people in China are infected with HIV, among whom 80,000 have full-blown AIDS. Despite intensive efforts to control it, the virus is spreading rapidly.
In certain parts of China, the HIV/AIDS infection rate among the high-risk groups is high, according to the Ministry of Health.
“Curbing the transmission of HIV/AIDS among high-risk groups and preventing it from spreading from the high-risk groups to the general population are an important and arduous task not only for the present but also for a rather long period in the future,” the ministry said.
The intervention teams will promote condom use, needle exchange, methadone maintenance therapy and AIDS education. They will also intensify monitoring of the epidemic, analysis of data and cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations.
(Xinhua News Agency September 30, 2004)