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China to Strengthen AIDS Cooperation with UN
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The Chinese government is to strengthen cooperation with the United Nations in AIDS prevention and treatment, Vice Chairwoman He Luli of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress said on Tuesday.

He made the remarks in a meeting with Peter Piot, executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

She said the government had always attached great importance to cooperation with the UNAIDS and hoped the global spread of the disease could be controlled through the agency's work.

Piot said the UNAIDS would continue to support China's AIDS prevention work and hoped to strengthen cooperation with China in AIDS prevention, and the treatment and care of patients.

China reported its first AIDS case in 1985. Official estimates put 650,000 Chinese living with HIV, including 75,000 AIDS patients.

The government has issued many policies and measures on AIDS prevention and treatment. In February, the State Council issued a set of detailed regulations on AIDS, banning discrimination and requiring free treatment and testing from local governments.

Last year, the central government allocated 800 million yuan (US$101 million) to AIDS prevention and treatment and local governments spent 400 million yuan (US$50 million).

China needs more support from the UNAIDS in AIDS prevention and treatment, said He.

Piot arrived in southwest Guizhou Province on September 7 and will conclude his China tour on Tuesday. This is his seventh visit to China since he took up the post of UNAIDS executive director.

(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2006)

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