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Jiangsu Tests Previous Blood Sellers for HIV

The eastern China province of Jiangsu is conducting HIV testing among the people who have sold blood over the past one and a half decades since 1990, according to the provincial disease control center.

A senior official at the center said Monday that some people infected with the HIV virus have yet to be traced after problems relating to blood-sale cropped up in recent years.

The province also ordered testing on the spouses and children of previous blood sellers who were found HIV positive.

Municipal governments take charge of the testing of local residents, while migrant people can be tested at the disease control center of the county or city where they work.

By the end of last June, Nanjing, the capital city of the province, had identified 165 HIV-positive people, 48 with full-blown AIDS.

China passed a law in August 2004 to make it illegal to buy and sell blood in a bid to stem its growing AIDS epidemic, the first time the disease has been targeted in a law.

According to relevant statistics from the Ministry of Health, China has 840,000 HIV-positive people and 80,000 with full-blown AIDS. Officials of relevant United Nations organizations warned that the number could hit 10 million if the epidemic goes unchecked.

As part of its substantial measures to curb the disease, China has made AIDS prevention and control a compulsory course of schools ranging from junior high schools to colleges nationwide.

China also launched pilot clinics last year to provide methadone maintenance therapy to intravenous drug users and programs to promote the use of condoms at hotels, colleges and night clubs.
(Xinhua News Agency March 21, 2005)

Jiangsu Intensifies AIDS Prevention
AIDS in China
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