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China Reports 264,000 People Living with HIV/AIDS

A total of 44,839 people living with HIV/AIDS were found in China and 6,897 others died of the disease in the first nine months this year, the Ministry of Health said on November 30.

The ministry said 264,302 people in the country were reported to have contracted HIV, including 77,753 AIDS patients, by the end of September, while 34,864 people died of AIDS.

"The spread of AIDS has generally slowed down in China, but factors for widespread still remain in some areas," Wang Weizhen, deputy director of the HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment department under the ministry's disease control bureau, told a press conference jointly held by the ministry and UNAIDS.

The ministry, UNAIDS and WHO have jointly estimated that there had been some 700,000 Chinese living with HIV/AIDS by the end of 2007, including 85,000 AIDS patients, with 0.05 percent of the population having contracted the virus.

In October 2006, the estimated figures were 650,000 HIV carriers and 75,000 AIDS patients.

Wang said sexual transmission had become a main channel of contracting the virus, and the epidemic situation differed greatly in different areas.

"The epidemic is lowly prevalent in general but it is highly prevalent among specific groups such as migrant workers, and in some regions particularly remote areas and the countryside," Wang said.  

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