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December 1, 2009

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Shanghai HIV cases on the increase

Shanghai reported 886 new HIV carriers and 392 AIDS patients, with 25 fatalities, from January to November 20 this year, the city's health bureau said yesterday.

The release of statistics yesterday comes ahead of World AIDS Day today.

Cases positive to HIV tests were 26.5 percent more than for the same period last year.

People from outside Shanghai accounted for 72 percent of this year's new HIV cases, while Shanghainese covered 60.5 percent of new AIDS patients.

People younger than 45 and men covered the majority of HIV/AIDS cases registered this year.

Unprotected sex was the cause of 63.7 percent of the new HIV cases, the bureau said.

Men who have sex with men covered 26.5 percent of new HIV cases, while drug use accounted for 18.4 percent.

The bureau said the city had registered 4,828 HIV carriers and 834 AIDS patients, with 194 fatalities, since the first HIV case was reported in 1987 and the first AIDS patient was found in 1996.

The city's incidence of HIV/AIDS is two in every 10,000 residents, much lower than the national level of five in every 10,000.

The bureau estimated that the real figure for new HIV/AIDS cases would be about 7,000 in the city by this year's end. Many people, because of the social stigma attached to the virus, fail to report it when they become infected.

"There is still a low prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Shanghai, but chances to become infected are widely available here," said Xu Jianguang, director of the Shanghai Health Bureau.

"We must carry out effective intervention measures and education among key sections of the population including entertainment venue staff, men who have sex with men and drug addicts and promote the availability of condoms in public venues, places where migrant workers gather, residential complexes and office buildings."

Condom-vending machines or free condoms are expected to be available in all public venues before the 2010 Shanghai World Expo starts next May.

The city government is working on four new AIDS prevention and control plans for the Expo, condom promotion for public venues, drug maintenance therapy for expatriates and HIV screening for prisons and detention houses.

All of these plans are under discussion and are expected to be enacted late this month.


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