More HIV cases seen among for­eign­ers

China Daily European Weekly - - China News -

Con­trol and pre­ven­tion means bet­ter pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion; vol­un­tary test­ing to be pro­moted

of the Na­tional Cen­ter for AIDS/STD Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, un­der China CDC, said at a news con­fer­ence.

“With the num­ber of in­bound tourists ex­pected to rise con­tin­u­ously in China due to more fre­quent in­ter­na­tional ex­changes, more for­eign­ers with HIV will be re­ported in China,” he said. “More joint ef­forts from dif­fer­ent de­part­ments are needed for con­trol and pre­ven­tion of HIV for ex­pats in China.”

It is im­por­tant to im­prove ed­u­ca­tion to pro­mote vol­un­tary test­ing, so peo­ple can get timely treat­ment if they are in­fected, Han said.

Be­fore 2010, for­eign­ers had to claim their HIV sta­tus when seek­ing a Chi­nese visa, and faced de­por­ta­tion if they were HIV-pos­i­tive.

Han said it has be­come a uni­ver­sal prac­tice to al­low en­try of in­bound pas­sen­gers with HIV, with around 143 coun­tries adopt­ing the prac­tice.

A ma­jor­ity of in­bound HIV cases re­ported last year were for­eign spouses of Chi­nese liv­ing in South­west China, but the re­ported num­ber of for­eign stu­dents with HIV com­ing to China has kept ris­ing rapidly — from 13 in 2010 to 100 last year, Han said.

Over­all, the to­tal num­ber of newly re­ported HIV cases in China has been ris­ing ev­ery year. Last year, 135,000 new cases were re­ported, a rise of 8 per­cent year-on-year, said Wu Zun­you, chief epi­demi­ol­o­gist at the Chi­nese CDC.

The ma­jor rea­son for the in­crease in re­ported cases is that more tests are be­ing con­ducted— 200 mil­lion last year, twice as many as six years ago, he said.

The preva­lence of HIV in China is 9 out of ev­ery 10,000 peo­ple, which is still low com­pared with many coun­tries in­clud­ing the United States, Rus­sia and In­dia, he said. In the US, the preva­lence of HIV is more than three times higher, he said.

Wang Bin, deputy chief for dis­ease con­trol and pre­ven­tion at the Na­tional Health Com­mis­sion, said 850,000 peo­ple were re­ported liv­ing with HIV in China by the end of Septem­ber, although the to­tal num­ber of peo­ple who are be­lieved to be in­fected in China is es­ti­mated at 1.25 mil­lion, which means about 30 per­cent of peo­ple with HIV in the coun­try are not aware of their HIV sta­tus.

“We face very big chal­lenges to reach the tar­get of get­ting 90 per­cent of all HIV cases tested by 2020 so they are aware of their sta­tus,” she said. “We will im­prove pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion to pro­mote vol­un­tary test­ing.”

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

An HIV test is con­ducted at a hos­pi­tal in Chongqing.

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