Health bureau says ig­no­rance to blame for rise in HIV cases

Shanghai Daily - - TOP NEWS - Cai Wen­jun

SHANG­HAI recorded 1,053 new HIV car­ri­ers and 329 AIDS pa­tients, with 49 fa­tal­i­ties by Oc­to­ber this year, Shang­hai Health Bureau said yes­ter­day.

The num­ber of new HIV car­ri­ers was 29 per­cent more than the same pe­riod of last year, health of­fi­cials said ahead of to­mor­row’s World AIDS Day. There was a 13 per­cent drop in the num­ber of AIDS pa­tients.

Peo­ple from out­side Shang­hai ac­counted for 65.1 per­cent of this year’s new HIV cases, while Shang­hainese made up 58.1 per­cent of new AIDS pa­tients.

Of­fi­cials said Shang­hai still has a low preva­lence of HIV/AIDS but num­bers were on the rise.

Health of­fi­cials said the in­crease of HIV/AIDS cases in the city was mainly be­cause of an in­crease in un­pro­tected sex, es­pe­cially men hav­ing sex with men; the lack of proper knowl­edge of AIDS preven­tion and con­trol among the pub­lic; peo­ple’s low ac­cep­tance of in­ter­ven­tion mea­sures and the low early de­tec­tion rate of HIV in­fec­tion.

Peo­ple younger than 44 and males made up the ma­jor­ity of lo­cal HIV/ AIDS cases reg­is­tered this year.

The ra­tio be­tween male and fe­male car­ri­ers grew from last year’s 4.6 males to 1 fe­male to this year’s 7.6 to 1.

About 71.6 per­cent of the new HIV cases were caused by un­pro­tected sex — the cause of 83.4 per­cent of lo­cal cases and 65.3 per­cent cases from out­side Shang­hai.

In­tra­venous drug in­jec­tion was re­spon­si­ble for 12.3 per­cent of new car­ri­ers.

About 37.7 per­cent of HIV car­ri­ers reg­is­tered this year were in­fected through het­ero­sex­ual sex, an in­crease of 28.5 per­cent over last year. Men hav­ing sex with men was the in­fec­tion cause of 33.9 per­cent of this year’s new HIV cases, 64.5 per­cent more than in 2009.

Lo­cal of­fi­cials said Shang­hai was at the best and key pe­riod for AIDS preven­tion and con­trol, as it had a low preva­lence of HIV/AIDS, but was still fac­ing tough chal­lenges.

“Shang­hai has a large num­ber of trav­el­ers, es­pe­cially those from over­seas. China stopped ban­ning for­eign­ers with HIV/AIDS from en­ter­ing the coun­try this year and highly risky be­hav­ior has trans­ferred from in­tra­venous drug use to un­pro­tected sex­ual be­hav­ior, es­pe­cially sex be­tween men,” said Vice Mayor Shen Xiaom­ing.

“Comp a r e d with in­ter­ven­tion to in­tra­venous drug use, it is more dif­fi­cult to do AIDS in­ter­ven­tion on un­pro­tected sex­ual be­hav­ior,” he said. It was more dif­fi­cult to in­ter­vene in the case of men hav­ing sex with men as all such be­hav­ior was un­der­ground, he added.

Shen called on AIDS preven­tion and con­trol fa­cil­i­ties to co­op­er­ate with gov­ern­ment de­part­ments, so­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions and non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions to pro­mote health ed­u­ca­tion and AIDS preven­tion among this high-risk group.

“We also should fur­ther the prac­tice on AIDS preven­tion dur­ing the World Expo like putting con­doms at star ho­tels,” Shen said. “Lo­cal health author­i­ties should pro­mote the avail­abil­ity of con­doms at all ho­tels. The ser­vice qual­ity at methadone clin­ics should also be im­proved.”

Shang­hai has a city­wide HIV/AIDS net­work with vol­un­tary HIV con­sul­ta­tion and test­ing at hos­pi­tals, clin­ics treat­ing sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­eases and or­di­nary med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties.

In­ter­ven­tion where peo­ple are at high risk, such as work­ers at en­ter­tain­ment venues and mi­grant work­ers, is well cov­ered by health ed­u­ca­tion on AIDS preven­tion and con­trol, the health bureau said.

HIV test­ing on preg­nant women was also be­ing car­ried out ef­fec­tively to en­sure timely de­tec­tion and in­ter­ven­tion to pre­vent mother-to-baby in­fec­tion.

The bureau said the city had reg­is­tered 5,992 HIV car­ri­ers and 1,213 AIDS pa­tients, with 241 fa­tal­i­ties, since the first HIV case was re­ported in 1987 and the first AIDS pa­tient was found in 1996.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.