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SW China to extend free treatment for HIV infected
Updated: 2005-05-02 10:28

The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwest China has designated 95 local hospitals as HIV treatment sites, the first such practice in the region, local sources said on Monday.

Free anti-viral treatments will be offered to some 10,000 to 20, 000 local HIV carriers in the coming five to ten years, said an official with the Guangxi regional disease prevention and control center.

Guangxi's first HIV carrier was detected in 1996, and by 2004, the autonomous region had reported 11,012 people infected with HIV and recorded 80 AIDS deaths.

The official said that more HIV carriers had come to hospitals for treatment in the past years, a signal of high incidence of HIV infection. He also noted that most HIV carriers didn't seek medical treatment until they were already in serious condition.

Fifteen out of the 95 hospitals designated to offer AIDS treatment are city-level hospitals, while the other 80 are county- level ones.

According to official figures, China now has some 840,000 HIV carriers. The country began its first human trials of a new AIDS vaccine on March 12 this year in Guangxi.

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