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Few AIDS Patients in China Can Afford Standard Treatment
Currently, the number of AIDS patients in China is estimated at 200,000, and there are at least 50,000 people needing treatment, among them only around 200 can afford anti-virus treatment, according to the information disclosed by a recent international conference held in Beijing.

Although the Chinese government has paid great attention to AIDS treatment and nursing and worked out a series of related policies, experts said. However, patients still have to pay a sum about 35,000 yuan each year, mainly due to the costly imported medicine, despite the fact that the prices of the medicine have been cut by half or two-thirds since last December after several rounds of negotiations. As a result, most patients fail to get anti-virus treatment.

Another problem is that there are only dozens of medical units and hundreds of doctors nationwide who have clinical experiences in anti-virus treatment, and even fewer able to carry out clinical tests and checks on virus-carrying capacity and CD4 cells.

In the coming five years, the number of AIDS patients needing treatment is estimated at 200,000 in China after deducting those died of this disease, according to expert analysis.

Many Chinese departments are working hard to ensure that more patients can get treatment. The Ministry of Health is continuing its efforts for further price-cut on imported medicine, the State Development Planning Commission, the Ministry of Finance, the State Administration of Taxation and other departments are working with their efforts directed to such questions as tax exemption and limited price. Relevant departments are also exerting themselves to speed up the process of domestic production of medicines.

(People’s Daily September 17, 2002)

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