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Yunnan Intensifies Anti-AIDS Drive
The southwestern province of Yunnan, which has the most HIV/AIDS cases in China, has intensified its efforts to curb the spread of the disease.

To date, the provincial government of Yunnan has invested about 100 million yuan (US$12 million) into the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS, according to the office of the provincial leading group for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

The first group of 146 HIV carriers were found in the province in 1989 and the number has kept rising ever since.

In 1999, the number of HIV carriers in Yunnan accounted for 43.6 percent of the national total and the figure dropped to 32 percent in September this year.

Over the past 10 years, the province has received assistance funds totaling approximately 100 million yuan (US$12 million) from the United Nations Children's Fund, the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS, the Asian Development Bank and non-governmental organizations in Australia, Britain and other countries.

With these funds, the province has launched prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS programs in more than 20 cities and counties.

Yunnan has established an HIV/AIDS monitoring system which consists of a provincial-level AIDS and venereal diseases prevention and treatment center, 36 preliminary test labs, 49 AIDS monitoring stations and 29 venereal disease monitoring stations.

Meanwhile, the province has launched public awareness programs on AIDS prevention and treatment.

In October, the province launched China's largest AIDS treatment program which will provide free anti-AIDS medicines to 300 patients within five years.

The number of HIV carriers in the province was registered at 11,957 by the end of September. But experts estimated the actual figure to be more than 70,000.

Health departments estimated that there are now about one million HIV carriers in China.

(Xinhua News Agency December 3, 2002)

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