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HIV/AIDS Spreads in Guangdong

One hundred and ten of Guangdong's 122 counties and cities had reported HIV-positive carriers, sources from the province's health department said.

It means the disease had spread from the Pearl River Delta area to neighboring cities in the east and west.

An AIDS prevention and control meeting in Guangzhou on Wednesday disclosed that AIDS cases had been found in the province's 21 cities. The number of carriers in delta cities including Jingmen, Zhongshan, Guangzhou and Yangjiang, is 69.4 percent of the total.

Director Yao Zhibin of Guangdong's health department said that most of the HIV antibody carriers were aged 16 to 35, accounting for 78.3 percent of the total.

About 91.5 percent of the patients had contracted the virus through intravenous drug abuse and 7.9 percent through sexual activity. The number of female patients had increased by 11.8 percent over the past year. The disease is widely found among prostitutes because the use of condom is only 10 percent among female drug addicts.

Experts estimate HIV-positive carriers exceeded 30,000 in the whole province.

The health department in Guangdong will continue to popularize the use of condoms and establish more care centers and monitoring centers in an effort to prevent the disease among easily infected groups, according to the meeting.

(Shenzhen Daily January 1, 2004)

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