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Guangdong Faces Severe HIV Situation

South China's Guangdong Province is facing a severe HIV situation after having spotted HIV carriers in 90 percent of its counties, experts said at the Guangdong AIDS Prevention and Treatment Symposium which opened Tuesday.

Some 110 counties among the total 122 have reported HIV carriers, said Liu Zoulu, director of Guangdong Provincial Academy of Preventive Medicine.

About 5,051 HIV carriers and 190 AIDS patients were reported in the province in 2003 and Guangdong became the fourth Chinese region with a serious HIV situation after Yunnan Province, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Among the province's HIV carriers, 84 percent are males and 80 percent are in their youth and prime between 16 to 35.

Guangdong police have registered nearly 200,000 drug addicts, who are most vulnerable to the HIV virus and a growing number of HIV infection cases were coming from the sex trade.

Experts appealed for the provincial government to input more funds and step up legislation to fight AIDS and deal with the increasing number of crimes committed by HIV carriers or AIDS patients.

(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2004)

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