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China AIDS cases rise 40% a year
Updated: 2004-11-30 09:53

The number of HIV/AIDS cases in China is increasing at a rapid rate of 40 percent a year, a health ministry official was cited as saying by the China Times.

About 1,000 college students, with red ribbons painted on their faces,  gather in Peking University to join a run to promote HIV/AIDS awareness November 28, 2004. [newsphoto]

The official, who was not named, said China had become the second worst-hit country in Asia and the 14th in the world, the newspaper reported.

The health ministry said new data on the number of Chinese HIV/AIDS patients would be made public Tuesday, a day before World AIDS Day.

Until now, official figure shows that China has an estimated 840,000 HIV/AIDS sufferers.

The United Nations warned that China could have 10 million cases by 2010 if action is not taken.

Since AIDS was first detected in China in 1985, an estimated 160,000 people have died.

Many HIV/AIDS patients were infected by contaminated blood in illegal blood-selling operations in the 1980s and 1990s.

Intravenous drug use, prostitution and ignorance about the disease are also cited as big problems in its spread.

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