Report: China's AIDS epidemic is worsening

January 25, 2006

International health experts say China's AIDS epidemic is among the fastest-growing in the world and will likely increase.

About 70,000 Chinese were infected last year with human immunodeficiency virus, the virus that causes AIDS, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Now, according to a report by the Chinese Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, it's estimated about 650,000 people in China are infected with HIV.

The pace of growth of new infections in China is about 10 percent, the Journal said, with death rates also rising. Approximately 25,000 Chinese died last year from complications related to AIDS.

"Make no mistake, China's AIDS epidemic is growing," Henk Bekedam, the WHO's representative in China, said. According to the report, only about a quarter of all victims know they are infected with AIDS.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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