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3,000 People Contract HIV Every Month

The number of people with HIV on the mainland rose by an average of 3,000 a month between January 2006 and June 2007, a senior disease control official said Monday.

Wang Ning, deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that as of the end of September, some 220,000 people from 31 provinces and municipalities had been reported as having HIV. Of those, about 55,000 had gone on to develop AIDS.

This year alone, the center has recorded 32,235 new HIV/AIDS cases, in a ratio of about four to one, Wang said.

He said so far this year, more than 3,000 people had died from AIDS.

As of the end of June, cases of HIV/AIDS had been reported in 74 percent of counties nationwide, Wang said.

Yunnan, Henan, Guangxi, Xinjiang and Guangdong ranked as the top five in terms of numbers of cases, with their combined total accounting for 76 percent of all cases nationwide, he said.

Henan, Guangxi, Yunnan, Anhui and Hubei have the highest numbers of AIDS patients, with their combined total accounting for almost 83 percent of the national total, Wang said.

But while the number of HIV/AIDS cases on the mainland has continued to increase, the rate of growth has slowed, Wang said.

However, he expressed concern over the rise in the number of cases involving sexual transmission.

Of the total cases reported in 2006, about 30 percent were due to sexual transmission between people of different sexes, and 3.1 percent involved same-sex transmission, Wang said.

However, figures for the first half of this year show 37.9 percent of cases were attributed to sexual transmission between people of the opposite sex, and 3.2 percent by same-sex couplings, he said.

While the numbers of cases among high-risks groups -- drug users and prostitutes -- had fallen, the general population had become increasingly at risk, mostly because of unsafe sex, Wang said.

(China Daily November 6, 2007)

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