Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region is taking measures to ensure that there are no more than 300 AIDS/HIV cases there by 2010, sources with the regional AIDS/HIV control authorities said on Thursday.
The measures include establishing a special lab for final diagnosis of AIDS/HIV and labs for preliminary sample screening in seven prefectures and cities and 22 counties. Bilingual AIDS/HIV control publicity materials in Chinese and Tibetan are being distributed to peasants and herdsmen and the use of condoms is being promoted throughout the region.
"There are fewer AIDS/HIV cases here than in other regions of the country, but they are on the rise and the disease is spreading from high-risk people to the general public and from cities to rural areas," said Jiang Zugang, an official with the regional AIDS/HIV control authorities.
Jiang said Tibet recorded its first AIDS patient in 1994 and the first death from the disease in 2001. Two years later, it detected a first Tibetan AIDS patient.
From 1994 to Oct. 31, 2006, 40 HIV carriers were registered in Tibet, including five who developed into AIDS and two deaths. In 2005 alone, there were 18 new AIDS/HIV cases, Jiang added.
According to estimates by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, China has about 650,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, including 75,000 who have developed AIDS.
(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2006)