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Sexual Activity Becomes Main Route of HIV Transmission in China

Sexual activity has replaced intravenous drug use as the major cause of the spread of AIDS in China, a report from the Ministry of Health said.

The shift became evident in October 2007, the disease prevention and control bureau of the ministry said in a report on Thursday. The change was a marked departure from the pre-2003 situation, when intravenous drug use was the dominant means of HIV transmission.

According to the report, during the first half of this year, 22,299 new HIV/AIDS cases were reported in the mainland, of whom 4,007 had died.

Cumulative infections as of June 30 topped 252,748, including 30,883 deaths.

The report found the ratio of sexually transmitted infections had risen steadily, with heterosexual and male homosexual transmission climbing to 37.9 percent and 3.3 percent in 2007, respectively, from 10.7 percent and 0.4 percent in 2005, respectively.

The relatively low rate of condom use was to blame, the report said.

(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2008)

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