Dec. 1 marks the 19th World AIDS Day. Here is a brief chronology of some of the major HIV/AIDS developments in China.
1984 -- Zeng Yi, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, starts HIV serum testing and confirms that the virus has entered the Chinese mainland in 1982 and infected first Chinese in 1983.
1985 -- China records first death of an AIDS patient.
1986 -- Four Chinese hemophilia patients are found HIV positive after blood transfusions. The blood products were imported products.
1987 -- A 13-year-old Chinese hemophiliac, who was infected with HIV after transfusion of foreign blood products, dies of AIDS.
1990 -- The Health Ministry sets up the National AIDS Committee.
1992 -- China National Health Education Institute sets up the country's first HIV/AIDS counseling hotline.
1992 -- The government confirms that it has recorded 11 AIDS patients and announces a medium-term plan on the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS.
1998 -- China's first Law on Blood Donation takes effect on Oct. 1. The law requires health authorities to standardize blood collection. Illegal blood collection for commercial purposes is banned.
1998 -- On Nov. 30, the government issues a 13-year plan (1998-2010) on the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, which sets a target to keep the HIV positive population below 1.5 million.
1999 -- The Health Ministry issues an administrative guideline, emphasizing the protection of the legitimate rights of people infected with HIV.
2003 -- In September, Vice Health Minister Gao Qiang pledges a set of anti-HIV measures at the 58th UN Assembly's special session of AIDS. The measures mean a larger range of government responsibility on AIDS prevention and control, including free HIV treatment for poor sufferers, establishment of AIDS control centers, the legislation of AIDS-related laws and international cooperation.
2003 -- Premier Wen Jiabao visits AIDS patients in a Beijing hospital and becomes first premier of China to publicly shake hands with AIDS patients in a bid to eliminate social discrimination.
2003 -- The Health Ministry and the United Nations Theme Group on HIV/AIDS in China jointly issue an assessment report on Dec. 1, which estimates that China has 840,000 HIV positive people, of whom 80,000 have full blown AIDS. The assessment says that despite the overall low prevalence rate (an adult infection rate of less than 0.1 percent), the epidemic has spread to 31 provinces.
2004 -- Vice Premier Wu Yi openly advocates behavior intervention to the high risk population at a national working meeting on HIV/AIDS in April, marking an unprecedented step forward in the fight against the disease.
2004 -- On Nov. 30, President Hu Jintao visits AIDS patients in Beijing for face-to-face talks.
2006 -- The Health Ministry, UNAIDS and the World Health Organization jointly issue an assessment in January in Beijing, lowering the estimated number of HIV/AIDS cases in China to 650,000, nearly 200,000 less than the 2003 estimate. The assessment also estimates that China has 75,000 AIDS patients.
2006 -- A new rule issued by the State Council on the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS takes effect on March 1.
(Xinhua News Agency December 1, 2006)