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China to start HIV test on prison population
Updated: 2004-11-25 00:01

China will start testing the country's prison population this month to identify HIV-positive prisoners, the Ministry of Health said Thursday.

The ministry will work with the Ministry of Justice to launch HIV tests on inmates in prisons and other correctional institutions from this month to March next year, the ministry said.

If an inmate is found to be HIV-positive, the health authority will then test his family members, the ministry said.

The HIV-positive inmates and AIDS patients will receive proper treatment, it added.

In September this year, an AIDS patient surnamed Liu was put in prison in central China's Hubei Province for robbery and stealing. Officially, he is considered the first AIDS patient sentenced to imprisonment by the Chinese court.

The police are inclined not to detain AIDS patients, and many of them are not put in prison or serve their sentences outside as most Chinese prisons and detention houses have no facility specially for AIDS patients and the HIV-positive.

China now has a prison population of 1.5 million in its 670 jails, while the country has 840,000 HIV-positive people, of whom 80,000 are AIDS patients.

This year China has made great efforts to prevent AIDS/HIV and improve public awareness of the prevention.

The Ministry of Health said in mid October that it plans to launch HIV test on people with histories of selling blood nationwide.

Monday more than 40 billboards on AIDS prevention were set up along both sides of the Sanlitun Bar Street, Beijing's hottest haunt for night life.

The health authority also plans to promote AIDS prevention on the campuses of 34 universities.

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