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New Bid to Stop the Spread of HIV
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A new scheme has been launched to help stem the growing number of HIV infections in east China's Zhejiang Province.

As part of their ongoing job training, officials from all government departments will be lectured on how to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS within the community.

The requirement came from Zhejiang's new regulation on AIDS prevention and treatment, which was passed by the provincial People's Congress.

"AIDS prevention and treatment requires effort from top to bottom," Cong Liming, director of the Zhejiang Disease Prevention and Control Center, told China Daily.

He declined to disclose the figures of the province's HIV-infected and AIDS patients, but said the rate was growing by 40 percent each year.

After Zhejiang found the first HIV-infected patient in 1985, the province had reported 1,859 HIV-infected and AIDS patients by the end of November last year, according to Xinhua News Agency.

In the first 11 months of last year, 571 Zhejiang residents became infected with the HIV virus or were confirmed as AIDS patients, almost 31 percent higher than 2005, when 436 cases were reported.

The agency said there were probably close to 20,000 HIV-infected and AIDS patients in Zhejiang.

New regulations in Zhejiang state that government officials and employment intermediaries should educate migrant workers about AIDS prevention and treatment.

Employers should also educate their employees about AIDS prevention, and make it an integral part of ongoing employee job training and safety education programs, the regulation said.

To stem the spread of AIDS, regulations forbid the use of any blood that has not been screened for HIV, the same with human organs, cells, marrow and sperm.

Expectant women and patients waiting for surgery will be tested for HIV free of charge.

(China Daily March 1, 2007)

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