A total of 28,757 people have received AIDS treatment the Chinese Ministry of
Health announced on Thursday. This accounts for 71 percent of total
The anti-viral medication for HIV/AIDS had been supplied to 31
provinces and the number of recipients was expected to reach 30,000
by the end of the year, said a ministry statement. The number of
patients treated with traditional Chinese medicine has exceeded
By September last year 20,453 AIDS sufferers received free
drugs. This was 65.7 percent of the reported cases. .
Joanna Brent, spokeswoman of the World Health Organization (WHO)
in China, said that HIV voluntary counseling and testing services
needed to be available to Chinese people.
The ministry has been publicizing voluntary counseling and
testing and encouraging people at risk of HIV infection to get the
services. By the end of June health authorities had tested 871,089
people and found 9,567 to be HIV positive, according to figures
from the ministry.
And a pilot scheme to prevent mother-to-baby transmission has
been carried out in 271 counties of 28 provinces and by June 1.02
million pregnant women had received testing. Of them 1,121 were
found to be HIV positive.
About 70 percent of HIV-infected pregnant women accepted
anti-viral medication and 80 percent of the babies born to infected
mothers received treatment. The ministry also revealed that 273
children infected with HIV received medication under a pilot
project covering 14 provinces.
Brent warned that counseling and testing of women and children
was not enough. "There is still an urgent need to get HIV
prevention messages and services out to groups at highest risk in
order to help stem the further spread of HIV."
Surveys show only 38.7 percent of Chinese sex workers use
condoms and 50.8 percent of drug addicts continue to share
Official figures released on Wednesday showed the number of
people officially reported as HIV positive on the Chinese mainland
has risen 27.5 percent since the beginning of the year to 183,733
by the end of October.
Among the reported cases 37 percent of infections were caused by
illegal drug users sharing contaminated needles and 28 percent
caused by unprotected sex.
The figures also showed that transmission through unprotected
sex was increasing with the infection rate of sex workers rising
from 0.02 percent in 1996 to one percent in 2005.
Commercial sex greatly contributed to the rapid spread of HIV
from high-risk groups to the general public, noted Dr. Wiwat
Rojanapithayakorn, HIV/AIDS team leader at the WHO Beijing
Speaking in Lanzhou, Gansu Province, on Tuesday, Wiwat promoted the
practice of providing condoms in entertainment places to
effectively prevent the spread of HIV.
(Xinhua News Agency November 24, 2006)