Guangzhou, a major city in south China, is to build a 200-bed specialist AIDS unit in a new hospital complex.
The unit will be part of the reconstructed No. 8 People's Hospital of Guangzhou City, a key medical establishment for treating infectious diseases, said Tang Xiaoping, president of the hospital.
The reconstruction, with a budget of 300 million yuan (US$ 37.5 million), had been approved by the State Council, the country's highest governing body, said Tang.
The No. 8 People's Hospital, founded 85 years ago in Yuexiu, a downtown district, has just 400 beds at present, including 45 for HIV carriers and AIDS patients. It has played a leading role in fighting major infectious diseases such as the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in the city.
It will be moved to Jiahe in Baiyun, a suburban district in northern Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.
The new hospital will house three separate buildings for HIV carriers and AIDS patients, and patients suffering from liver and intestinal infectious diseases, with more than 1,000 beds and a total floor space of 120,000 sq m, plus a helicopter landing pad and solar energy converters.
The reconstruction will start in the first quarter of next year and be finished by 2010, said Tang.
China's Ministry of Health said the country had 183,733 registered HIV carriers since 1982 when HIV was first recorded in China. Of the total, 40,667 have developed into full-blown AIDS cases and 12,464 have died of AIDS.
In Guangdong, the number of registered HIV carriers is 17,855, of whom, 1,388 have developed into full-blown AIDS cases and 512 have died.
(Xinhua News Agency December 13, 2006)