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China's vice premier stresses treatment, care for AIDS patients
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08:12, December 02, 2008

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Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang has called for continuous and joint efforts from the entire society to provide better treatment and care to HIV-infected persons and AIDS patients.

Li said all government policies concerning the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS should be carefully implemented in the combat against the disease.

He presided over a meeting of a working committee on HIV/AIDS prevention and control, which is under the State Council, China's Cabinet, ahead of the World AIDS Day which falls on Monday.

Li is the head of the committee set up in 2004 with key officials from all ministries and several provinces, where HIV/AIDS epidemic was serious, as committee members.

Despite concerted efforts in recent years, the situation of HIV/AIDS control remain grave in China, Li said at the meeting.

He stressed the importance of the nation's key policy of "four frees, one care", which was adopted in 2003 to provide free HIV testing, free counseling and free treatment for HIV carriers in rural areas, free medication for all pregnant HIV carriers and free education for AIDS orphans, as well as the care for poverty-stricken patients in order to curb AIDS-related discrimination.

HIV-infected persons and AIDS patients should have better access to standardized diagnosis and treatment, which should be supported by family and community-based treatment, and sufficient trainings among doctors and nurses at township and village clinics, he said.

The vice premier stressed special care for children who were infected or orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

"We must make sure that every infected child can receive treatment and every AIDS orphan can get help and care," he said.

Li also said prevention and control of HIV/AIDS should be strengthened through greater efforts in education and scientific research in order to give the public better understanding of the disease while conducting effective monitoring of the epidemic.

Official figures showed that there were about 700,000 Chinese living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2007, 85,000 of whom were AIDS patients.

Source: Xinhua



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