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More care promised for AIDS patients

By SHAN JUAN and WANG QINGYUN  (China Daily)

08:44, November 23, 2012

Hospitals designated to treat HIV/AIDS will be upgraded to protect the rights of patients and ensure better healthcare services, Minister of Health Chen Zhu pledged on Thursday.

He was speaking at a ceremony to mark the end of the China-Australia Health and HIV/AIDS Facility, a joint project, and after Vice-Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday called for proper medical treatment for people who have HIV or AIDS.

Li contacted the ministry after learning of a recent case in which a 25-year-old HIV carrier ― identified as Xiaofeng ― was denied cancer treatment in Tianjin due to his condition, and only secured treatment at another facility after hiding his status.

"The Health Ministry will improve services at designated hospitals to better help people with HIV/AIDS beyond just treating them," Chen told China Daily. "We'll also improve working conditions for medical workers."

Thanks to anti-retroviral treatment, patients can now live much longer and may need treatment for other medical conditions, he said. Because their immune system may be weakened, patients with HIV/AIDS could be susceptible to other illnesses.

Each city on the mainland has at least one designated hospital to carry out anti-retroviral and HIV/AIDS related treatment, said Wu Zunyou, director of the National Center for AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Control and Prevention.

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