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AIDS to Bring Huge Economic Losses to China

The economic losses brought by AIDS to China in the coming five years are estimated to exceed 300 billion yuan (US$42.25 billion), said a renowned AIDS expert on Wednesday.

At a conference of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Zeng Yi, chief scientist with the STD (sexually-transmitted diseases) and AIDS Prevention Center under the Ministry of Health, said the losses of human resources caused by AIDS in China are estimated to reach 285.57 billion yuan from 2006 to 2010.

Citing the calculation of economist Li Jingwen, another CAS member, Zeng said the disease will also cause a loss of 16.45 billion yuan to the productivity and GDP in the agricultural sector.

China's Ministry of Health estimated that there are about 650,000 HIV/AIDS cases in China, including 75,000 AIDS patients. The number of Chinese newly infected with HIV/AIDS was around 70,000 in 2005, and 25,000 Chinese died of AIDS last year.

Among China's HIV/AIDS cases, 49.8 percent were transmitted by unsafe sex, 48.6 percent by drug injection, and 1.6 percent from mothers to babies, Zeng said.

(Xinhua News Agency June 7, 2006)

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