China to have 1.2 mn HIV-affected people by 2015

Beijing: China will have about 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS by 2015, says a government report.

China has over 740,000 HIV/AIDS patients in the mainland and sex is one of the major means of transmission of the disease.

The report, titled "Action Plan to Prevent and Control HIV/AIDS (2011-15)" and scheduled for formal release in the first half of 2011, says that despite a low prevalence nationwide, the epidemic is rising sharply among high-risk groups like gay men and sex workers.

"Given that reality, limiting new HIV infections in the next five years to no more than 500,000 is an arduous task and requires highly effective interventions," Wang Ning, deputy director of the National Centre for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention, was quoted as saying by China Daily Saturday.

"We can`t prohibit the sufferers from having sex," he said, adding that it was "pretty hard" for vulnerable groups like sex workers who on an average meet thousands of clients a year.

The action plan said during the coming five years, more targeted intervention programmes will be carried out among the risk group to increase their use of condoms to more than 90 percent.

At present, unprotected sex is "rampant" and even among those covered by intervention programmes only about 72 percent use protective measures, it said.

Efforts to educate the public should also be intensified, it said.

About 70,000 of the 130,000 full-blown AIDS patients are receiving anti-retroviral treatment provided free by the government, according to the ministry of health.


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