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Intervention Teams to Curb AIDS Transmission

China will set up nationwide intervention teams to curb the transmission of HIV/AIDS, according to an official document released on Wednesday by the Health Ministry.

The disease prevention and control centers a t all levels should set up intervention teams for high risk populations, mainly injected drug users (IDU), sex workers and homosexuals, the Health Ministry said.

The teams should be established no later than October this year.

Statistics showed that about 840,000 people in China are infected with HIV/AIDS, among whom 80,000 have full-blown AIDS. Despite intensive efforts that have been made, the virus is spreading rapidly.

In certain parts of China, HIV/AIDS infection rate among the high risk groups are high, the ministry said.

The ministry said currently China is at a crucial moment in fighting against HIV/AIDS. "Curbing the transmission of HIV/AIDS among high-risk groups and preventing it from spreading from the high risk groups to the general population is an important and arduous task not only for the present but also for a rather long period in the future."

According to the ministry, the teams will promote condom use, needle exchange, methadone maintenance therapy and AIDS education. The intervention teams will also intensify monitoring of the epidemic, data analysis and cooperate with governmental and non-governmental organizations.

(Xinhua News Agency September 30, 2004)

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