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Guangdong to Establish AIDS Prevention Demonstration Zones

South China's Guangdong Province sets to establish three demonstration zones in the counties of Doumen and Yangdong and the city of Taishan, where Methadone treatment is planned to be used in AIDS care.

Latest statistics show that by the end of March, Guangdong had recorded 5,182 HIV/AIDS cases, ranking fifth in China, including 190 AIDS patients and 53 deaths from AIDS.

Experts say that the de-facto number of HIV-positive people in Guangdong is over 30,000, mainly concentrated in the Pearl River Delta.

Li Jianzhong, an official of the provincial department of health, said Guangdong has submitted the plan to the Ministry of Health and started to investigate and count people in the high-risk group and to train related medical staff.

Li says patients who receive Methadone treatment will be charged no more than 10 yuan (about one US dollar and 20 cents) a day.

In the three demonstration zones, the behavior of drug abusers, sex workers and others in the high-risk group will be strictly supervised and all the staff working in the zones will receive regular HIV tests.

(Xinhua News Agency May 22, 2004)

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