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More AIDS Control Efforts Needed Among Migrants

Migrants should be regarded as a high-risk group of HIV/AIDS infection and get more attention from the government, said a senior health official in Beijing Monday.

A total of 120 million people flow to other regions in China each year. Facing threats of HIV/AIDS due to the lack of education and health knowledge, said Vice Health Minister Wang Longde at a national tele-conference.

"Moreover, many local governments provide HIV/AIDS prevention services only to people with residential registration, leaving migrant populations uncontrolled," he noted.

Wang also pointed out that some local officials have put emphasis only on blood donation and ignored other channels of HIV transmission such as drug abuse, sex and mother-infant infection.

In some parts of the country, AIDS patients and children left by AIDS victims are still in need of timely treatment, sufficient living assistance and free education, said the official.

By the end of September, China had a cumulative 135,630 cases of reported HIV infection, according to latest figures released by the Ministry of Health, but the officially estimated infected number is 840,000.

"There is still a great gap between the reported cases and the estimated figures, which hampers the prevention and control of the epidemic," Wang said, calling for improvement of the AIDS surveillance and monitoring system.

He also called on deeper, broader and more practical publicity of HIV/AIDS prevention to raise the awareness and foster protection against the disease.

(Xinhua News Agency November 28, 2005)

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