With HIV carriers increasing at an annual speed of 40 percent, China now ranks world 14th and Asia 2nd in its AIDS outbreak degree, an expert from the Ministry of Public Health revealed Sunday at the opening ceremony of "Beijing 2004 AIDS awareness enhancement campaign".
From 1985, when the first HIV case was reported in China, to last April, the country had altogether reported 840,000 HIV carriers and 80,000 AIDS patients, with some 160,000 estimated dead from the disease.
Statistics from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) showed that in many countries the number of females living with HIV was found having exceeded that of males. Experts pointed out two reasons. First, from a physiological view, females have a higher exposure of mucous membrane, which increases their risk of infection. Second, from a social psychological perspective, females are more passive and obedient in their sex awareness, and gender equality is still far from being realized; males' improper sex is more likely to do harm to females.
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day, which falls on December 1, is to reduce women and girls' vulnerability to HIV and AIDS. The global AIDS campaign is meant to further enhance people's awareness about AIDS' impact on women and mobilize the vast number of them to rise to the threat.
(People's Daily November 30, 2004)