Beijing has increased the number of AIDS monitoring stations from four to 26 to strengthen supervision over AIDS cases in the capital city.
Some of the 22 new monitoring stations are aimed at ordinary people, instead of high-risk groups, the Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control said.
The number of HIV carriers in Beijing has increased at a rate of nearly 41 percent annually since 1998, said experts from the report from the Beijing Center for disease prevention and control.
But sources said the HIV virus infection rate among Beijing residents is still low, without providing figures.
The AIDS epidemic is spreading from high risk groups into the general population.
The percentage of AIDS patients that are infected through sexual contact and mother-to-child transmission is increasing in Beijing, the China News Service said.
As a result, more groups are getting involved in the capital city's monitoring system to allow officials a better grasp on AIDS numbers.
The 26 monitoring sites include six for drug addicts, seven for patients of sexually transmitted disease, five for prostitutes, one for homosexuals, three for entertainment employees and four for pregnant women and those who have undergone abortions.
A total of 1,648 AIDS patients and HIV carriers were found in Beijing between 1985 and last year. The first case was discovered in a foreigner in 1985.
Beijing has the seventh highest number among the 31 municipalities, provinces and autonomous regions around the country.
Of the 1,648 cases, there are 338 permanent local residents, 1,215 migrants and 95 foreigners.
There are 15 districts and counties out of 18 in which HIV carriers or AIDS patients are found.
Beijing has established a working committee for AIDS prevention and treatment, responsible for drafting policies and dealing with problems.
A coordination system was set up by the local government to establish an AIDS prevention and cure treatment system based on multi-department cooperation and society's help.
Meanwhile, AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases professionals were set up at municipal- and district (county)- level disease prevention and control centers, said the Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
Professional AIDS and sexually transmitted disease clinics were established at the capital city's 18 district- and county-level centers.
Six anti-virus drugs for AIDS patients and HIV carriers will be included in the city's medical insurance system.
Medical insurance will help pay medical fees, sources said.
(China Daily July 21, 2004)