China will have an estimated 740,000 people living with HIV/AIDS on the mainland by the end of this year, Health Minister Chen Zhu announced in Shanghai Tuesday morning.
The number has increased from the 700,000 estimated in 2007.
The cumulative total number of reported HIV positive cases, including 102,323 full-blown patients, amounted to 319,877 from 1985 to the end of October this year.
"The exact number of infections keeps rising in the nation but at a lower speed compared with previous years," said Chen.
China updates the estimated figure of HIV positive population every two years. In 2005, it was 650,000.
An estimated 33.4 million people worldwide are infected with the AIDS virus, according to a statement issued by the World Health Organization and the Joint UN programme on HIV/AIDS, reported Reuters. The figure is up from 33 million in 2007.
It is the first time worldwide infection figures have been announced in China.