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First Domestic AIDS Care Center Set Up

Southwestern Yunnan Province is setting up the first domestic AIDS prevention and care center in the country, the provincial AIDS prevention and control office announced at Kunming, the capital, on Wednesday.

Located 28 km from Kunming City, the center will cover an area of 10,000 square meters with 200 beds.

According to the report released by the office, the center will serve as China's first special institute providing patients with AIDS consultation, testing and treatment services. The center will also serve as an AIDS prevention information center.

The report also said the center would particularly focus on the treatment and care of HIV positive people, including anti-HIV treatment, psychological counseling, HIV spread control education and medical research.

Apart from AIDS sufferers in China, the center will also accept patients from overseas, so as to accumulate and exchange experience in international anti-AIDS undertakings.

Statistics released by the office show that in the first three quarters of 2003, 47.5 percent of HIV-carriers in Yunnan province were infected through blood transmission and the ratio of those contracting the virus through sexual intercourse rose to 21.9 percent.

Experts warned that the HIV virus had become an epidemic not only within high-risk groups, such as drug abusers and commercial sex workers, but also among ordinary people.

The establishment of the center is expected to provide treatment and care to a large number of AIDS sufferers, who ordinary hospitals do not have the capacity to care for, and give professional guidance on the usage and research of HIV medicines.

(Xinhua News Agency December 12, 2003)

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