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More wives getting HIV from husbands

By Shan Juan (China Daily)

13:07, June 02, 2012

The number of spouses infected with HIV by their partners is increasing on the Chinese mainland, and most of those infected by spouses are females, a new report has revealed.

"The report will help devise better intervention methods to curb rising HIV transmissions within married couples and significantly reduce new infections," said Liu Kangmai, deputy director of the National Center for AIDS/STD Preve"ntion and Control (NCAIDS).

Released on Friday, the report by NCAIDS, UN Women and UNAIDS was based on a 2011 study conducted in six cities and counties in Yunnan, Henan, Sichuan, Guangxi and Chongqing. It surveyed more than 770 couples where one party was HIV positive.

According to estimates published by the Ministry of Health in 2009, about 15 percent of the estimated 740,000 HIV/AIDS sufferers on the Chinese mainland were infected by their spouses.

Of the 48,000 newly detected sufferers in 2011, at least 25 percent of the cases involving heterosexual sex were transmitted by spouses.

In the survey areas, the proportion of sufferers infected by spouses quadrupled between 2004 and 2011, the report said.

The most dramatic increase was in Sichuan province, where the proportion of sufferers infected by spouses jumped from 0.78 percent to 10.9 percent during that time.

The proportion was highest in Henan, where 20 percent of infections in 2011 were from spouses. In Yunnan, the number of wives infected by husbands was 6.6 times that of husbands who contracted the virus from wives, it showed.

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