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Sharp Rise of HIV/AIDS Cases in Shenzhen
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Shenzhen, a boomtown facing Hong Kong in south China's Guangdong Province, registered 496 HIV/AIDS cases in the first three quarters of the year.

The statistics represent a rise of 40 percent on the same period last year, according to the Shenzhen City Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Most of the victims were aged between 30 and 40. The killer virus was mainly spread via shared syringes among drug addicts, homosexuals and even heterosexual partners.

The city CDC said that eight couples who recently applied for marriage licenses had been diagnosed with HIV.

China's Ministry of Health said Wednesday that the number of HIV infections nationwide has risen 27.5 percent since the beginning of the year.

By the end of October, a total of 183,733 people were officially reported to have contracted HIV, 39,644 more than at the end of 2005.

(Xinhua News Agency November 25, 2006)

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