A Sino-British STD and AIDS control program has been inviting bids from governmental and non- governmental organizations and research institutions to participate in the program.
The program will be instituted in southwest China's Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and will take five years to finish, said a spokesperson with the program.
The British Department for International Development will provide the program with a donation of US$4.39 million which will be used as a special fund for carrying out publicity and education, applied research on sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and AIDS, as well as provincial-level STD and AIDS prevention.
The spokesperson explained bidding would guarantee the money be properly spent.
AIDS patients are now reported in China's 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. By the end of 2000, the number of HIV-positive carriers totaled 500,000 in the country. The number of STD patients has also been on the rise in China. In 2000 alone, four million people were reported to have been infected with STD.
Yunnan, which borders Viet Nam, Laos and Myanmar, is the worst-hit region by AIDS due to the impact of narcotics and HIV-positive carriers from overseas. The province has at least 8,000 HIV-positive patients.