Fighting AIDS in China
    2010-12-06 19:36:29     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xu
 
The latest statistics from the Ministry of Health reveal that roughly 44,000 new HIV infections were reported as of the end of October this year, bringing the total number of reported people living with HIV and AIDS in China to more than 370,000.

AIDS-related deaths in China reached 68,000, compared to 26,000 in 2009, implying that the country is moving towards the top of a curve, where most AIDS patients who were infected a decade ago or even earlier are reaching the end of their lives.

An editorial in the China Daily says this by no means suggests the country's efforts to prolong the lives of the infected have been in vain. But bias and discrimination still hinder effective monitoring and early intervention, which makes preventing the spread of the virus more difficult.

The article says the estimated number of HIV/AIDS cases is around 740,000 nationwide. Discrimination keeps many with the disease from reporting their cases and getting government-funded treatment and related services. This is particularly true of sex workers, drug users and those who have homosexual sex.

The China Daily editorial says the central government should have a new plan for controlling HIV/AIDS in the next five years. This includes intensified public information campaigns about HIV/AIDS and prevention, faster HIV detection methods at the community level, compulsory rehabilitation of drug users at the community level, strengthened management of blood transfusions, intensified care and treatment of AIDS patients and more research into new drugs.

However, according to the editorial, there is a long way to go to fight people's traditional prejudice against homosexuals. It says that creating a society where homosexuals can be frank about their sexual orientation is important, not just to relieve the country of the anxiety that they may become a major source of infection, but as part of the efforts to build an inclusive society.

The article concludes that getting rid of discrimination is the key weapon to fighting the spread of this disease.
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