China reporting two-thirds less AIDS mortalities

13:38, May 23, 2011      

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The deaths of AIDS patients have decreased by about two-thirds in China, thanks to the government's efforts to provide free-of-charge antiretroviral drugs since 2002, Chinese scientists say in a recent report.

Now, up to 63 percent of the patients who need AIDS drugs are getting them, up from virtually zero eight years ago. That has led to a 64 percent drop in the mortality in "person-year". The study, led by the country's national center for control and prevention of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, was published online last week.

China's success in such a short time "is a testimony to the young midlevel scientists who convinced the country's leadership that this was the right thing to do," said Dr. Myron Cohen, an AIDS specialist from the University of North Carolina who has lived in China and helped it battle the epidemic.

The number of infected people in China --740,000, according to official estimates by the government — is large by comparison with most countries, but small in a population of 1.31 billion. Of those, 323,252 have been tested and 82,540 are being treated.

If the total caseload estimate is correct, China has tested about half its infected people. By comparison, the United States estimates that 80 percent of its 1.2 million infected people have been tested, reports say.

By People's Daily Online
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