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Wu spells out urgency for HIV/AIDS prevention
Updated: 2004-05-09 07:58

Vice-Premier and Minister of Health Wu Yi has called on all regions to speed up their efforts to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, now a serious health problem in some parts of the nation.

Xinhua published the full text of a speech delivered by Wu last month at a national working conference on the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

In her speech, dated April 6, the official called for implementing central policies and arrangements on the prevention of the deadly disease, studying the situation and preventive measures, and looking for effective mechanism, to step up the efforts to control the disease timely and firmly curb the fast spreading of the disease in China.

HIV/AIDS is a major health and social problem in the world and its spread has also brought about severe impacts on economic and social development of the country, she said.

Since the first report of AIDS patient in 1981, the number of HIV carriers and AIDS patients has reached 69 million, of whom 27 million have died. So far, 840,000 Chinese have been infected of HIV and 80,000 of them are AIDS patients, according to official figures.

China has Asia's second and world's 14th largest HIV/AIDS population. The majority of HIV carriers and AIDS patients in China are young people and live in rural areas.

Wu called for further efforts to create public awareness about the issue; curbing the spread of HIV via blood; cracking down on crimes that cause the spreading of HIV, such as drug addiction and prostitution; monitoring the situation carefully; and implementing government policies and measures on treatment of HIV carriers and AIDS patients.

While the government has to be the leading force in the efforts to control HIV spreading, all walks of life should be mobilized to join hands in the efforts, the official said. She called for studying international experience and combining it with China's own situation. The disease should be prevented in accordance with law and science, she stressed.

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