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HIV/AIDS control in China

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-18 09:44

China is widely recognized as a model country for its achievements in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, according to Wu Zunyou, director of the National Center for AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Disease Control and Prevention at the China Center for Disease Control.

Wu said the HIV/AIDS infection rate in China is about 0.06 percent, far lower than the global average of 0.8 percent, according to data released by the World Health Organization. However, because of the large population, China is one of 15 countries with the highest numbers of AIDS carriers in the world.

China's first major outbreak of HIV/AIDS came in the border regions in the 1990s, through intravenous drug use. The disease quickly spread to other provinces through illegal sales of blood.

Since 2004, the health department has imposed measures aimed at special groups, for example methadone maintenance treatment and the Needle and Syringe Exchange Program.

Last year, the proportion of cases of HIV/AIDS as a result of intravenous drug use was less than 5 percent, and the infection rate between couples where one partner had AIDS fell to 1 percent from 5.9 percent in 2010.

Statistics from the China Center for Disease Control show that mother-to-child prevention has contributed to a significant drop in the infection rate of babies. The rate has fallen to 6 percent from 34.8 percent in 2003, when the government-supported program was launched.

- Yang Wanli

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