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February 18, 2011

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Cases of infectious diseases fall across Shanghai

THE number of known syphilis victims holding Shanghai residency dropped for the first time last year since 2004, when annual growth was reported to be in double figures.

Shanghai had an all-time low incidence of infectious diseases, except for AIDS, due to close supervision and disease-prevention measures.

Officials said that the number of cases of sexually-transmitted diseases like syphilis and HIV/AIDS are growing across the country.

According to a report from the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the cases of syphilis held at a 14 percent annual increase from 2003 to 2007.

The growth started to slow in 2009, which only saw a 5 percent rise among local residents and 6 percent among migrant people.

In 2010, local residents with syphilis dropped by 5.65 percent while migrant people had a 3.3 percent increase on the previous year.

Experts said that the chief reason for the surge in syphilis and AIDS cases was unprotected sex.

Last year, 14,699 people were found to have syphilis, the most prevalent infectious disease in the city followed by tuberculosis, gonorrhea, viral hepatitis and dysentery.

The number of registered syphilis patients among city residents rose from 4,232 in 2004 to 10,481 last year, yesterday's report said. The incidence rate increased from 31.42 for every 100,000 city residents in 2004 to last year's 76.

Shanghai recorded 4,218 migrants with syphilis last year compared with 1,587 in 2004.

Shanghai has adopted measures like sex education for workers at entertainment venues and promoting the availability of condoms in recent years. The city also started to screen pregnant women for syphilis in 2003 to control mother-to-infant infections.

Health officials said promoting safe sex is a tough job and it may take a long time to improve people's awareness and lower the cases of STDs in the city.

According to the report, there were 32,599 cases of -infectious diseases last year in Shanghai, an -incidence rate of 169.7 for every 100,000 people, 16.32 percent lower than in 2009.


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