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AIDS Outbreak Likely in Hebei

An AIDS outbreak is likely in China's northern province of Hebei in the near future as the majority of AIDS virus carriers, who contracted the disease a decade ago, become AIDS patients, experts warned.

The carriers needed treatment and care, and the funds ought to be increased to improve medical service in counties and towns, according to AIDS experts from the provincial center for disease control.

They noted that sufficient funding was a necessary guarantee in the work of monitoring and management of AIDS patients and virus carriers.

Most victims in the province contacted the disease around 1995,accounting for about 70 percent of the total number of the infected in the past 15 years. Experts did not give the exact numbers of AIDS patients or virus carriers in the province.

Most AIDS sufferers in the province were in underdeveloped areas and poor rural areas where most people and patients could not afford medical bills or beat poverty resulting from loss of work ability because of AIDS or other diseases.

AIDS was spread mainly through blood in the province, involving 85.9 percent of the total infected.

Hebei has five counties listed in state pilot programs on AIDS control and prevention. Some 56 AIDS virus carriers in the counties have received free anti-AIDS virus treatment, according to experts.
(Xinhua News  Agency  July 7, 2004)

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