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HIV infections exceed 90,000 in SW China's Yunnan

(Xinhua)

10:06, December 01, 2011

KUNMING, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- More than 10,000 new HIV infections were reported in southwest China's Yunnan province during the first 10 months of this year, bringing the total number of HIV carriers and AIDS patients in the province to more than 90,000, local AIDS prevention authorities said Wednesday.

As of Oct. 31, a total of 93,567 HIV infections had been reported in the province, with the disease claiming 14,340 lives, according to statistics from the Yunnan AIDS Prevention Bureau.

The number of HIV infections contracted through sexual contact has been rising and sexual contact is now the main cause of the disease's proliferation, said Xu Heping, director of the bureau.

Of the province's infected population, 45.8 percent contracted the disease through sexual contact, while 37.3 percent contracted the disease through intravenous drug abuse, according to the bureau.

Sexually transmitted infections accounted for 77.3 percent of new infections during the January-October period, up from 71.3 percent during the same period last year, according to the statistics.

Xu said this year's new infections mainly occurred in people between the ages of 20 and 39, accounting for 60.8 percent of the total.

Infections among rural residents and unemployed people accounted for 55.3 percent and 18.6 percent, respectively, of this year's total, according to Xu.

Lu Lin, director of the Yunnan disease control and prevention center, said migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to the disease due to their nomadic nature and lack of knowledge about the disease.

China currently has 346,000 registered HIV carriers and AIDS patients, although the actual number is predicted to hit 780,000 by the end of this year, according to an expert panel consisting of members of China's Ministry of Health (MOH), the World Health Organization and UNAIDS.

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