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China to control number of people infected with HIV within 1.2 million

03-01-2012 14:31 BJT

BEIJING, March 1 (Xinhuanet) -- The objectives for the control of HIV/AIDS in the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-15) underline the efforts the country will have to make in the coming years.

Published on Wednesday, the action plan requires that the total number of people infected with human immunodeficiency virus be controlled to within 1.2 million, the number of newly infected people be reduced by 25 percent and the number of deaths by 30 percent.

Controlling the disease is not just a medical issue, it is also a social one. This makes it necessary for the whole of society to be mobilized to prevent the virus from spreading as quickly as it has in the past.

In 2011, the virus caused the deaths of 28,000 people in China, and 48,000 people contracted the virus, according to estimates by the World Health Organization. If the number of people who become affected remains at that level, it should not be that difficult for China to meet its objectives.

But the more people that become infected, the easier it is for the disease to spread, and the less knowledge people have about the disease, the greater the chances of them getting infected.

That explains why the plan emphasizes more public information about the disease, especially among high-risk groups.

The rise of sexually transmitted HIV among college students verifies to the necessity of such publicity campaigns. With Chinese society becoming increasingly permissive, it is of the utmost importance to educate young people about safe sex and let them know how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases.

This requires further targeted efforts by the government and well-implemented public awareness campaigns.

The plan requires that 85 percent of urban residents aged between 15 and 60, and 80 percent of rural residents of the same age group be educated about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The percentage will be higher than 90 percent among high-risk groups.

The reported drop in the number of new HIV infections through blood transfusions and drug use are evidence that government intervention and public awareness campaigns are working.

The plan requires that HIV/AIDS checkups will be conducted in particular sectors and medical treatment will be immediately offered to those infected. Such measures, if carried out properly, should help effectively control the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Editor:Zhang Jianfeng |Source: Xinhua

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