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Xinjiang to Hold Mass HIV/AIDS Check-up

A mass medical examination among HIV/AIDS-prone people will be launched on Thursday in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, local health department said.

The check-up, the first of its kind in a region inhabited by a large group of people of Uygur nationality, is estimated to cover 150,000 people of highly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.

The check-up, jointly organized by regional public health, judicial and public security departments, will last from Dec. 15 to March 31, 2006. During this period, medical workers will visit various parts of the region to take blood samples of HIV/AIDS-prone people including prisoners, drug users, unlicensed prostitutes, venereal disease patients, spouses and offspring of AIDS patients.

The current check-up will help ameliorate Xinjiang's monitoring on people living with HIV/AIDS, improve medical organizations' service and further spread knowledge about HIV/AIDS prevention andcontrol.

Xinjiang has 11,303 registered HIV cases by the end of last September, the fourth worst-hit region in China. Among the HIV infections, 311 were AIDS patients and 83 of them have died, according to Muhanmetemin Yasa, director of the regional public health department.

The disease was mainly spread among mainline drug use, sexual intercourse and from mothers to infants, according to Yasa.

Various local departments have been working together in curbingthe spread of the disease but Xinjiang still faces a severe situation.

(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2005)

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