Vice Health Minister Wang Longde said Thursday that China's 2005 financial input in the fight against HIV/AIDS will be no less than last year's 830 million yuan (US$103.75 million) and the figure is expected to be higher next year.
Speaking at the Oct. 26-28 International Symposium on ODA (Official Development Assistance) for Population and Development, Wang said China is working on next year's AIDS budget and the figure of 830 million yuan only represents the central government's share without adding local governments investment and international organizations assistance.
He also said non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should, under the guidance of the government, play a greater role in the anti-AIDS campaign as the epidemic, mainly transmitted through unsafe sex behavior, fails to be checked by legal restrictions or government work alone.
The Chinese government will invest in training staffers or volunteers out of the high-risk groups, such as sex workers or men have sex with men, to advocate AIDS prevention and control.
China reported more than 120,000 HIV infected cases and nearly 30,000 AIDS patients by last June, with over 7,000 of them dead. The figures are expected to be updated around World AIDS Day that falls on Dec. 1.
(Xinhua News Agency October 27, 2005)