Premier Li Keqiang interacts with health workers at You An Hospital in Beijing, a key institute in the treatment of HIV/AIDS in China, ahead of World AIDS Day, which falls on Dec 1.[Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]
China will allocate more government funds for HIV/AIDS prevention, especially for targeted groups, Premier Li Keqiang said during a visit to HIV/AIDS sufferers in Beijing.
He said government investment will continue to increase and will help the most vulnerable groups, particularly homosexuals, to prevent the disease from spreading.
Technologies that can prevent mothers from transmitting HIV to their fetuses during pregnancy will be promoted across the country in 2015 to reduce the number of sufferers among newborns.
Li made the remarks during a visit to Beijing You An Hospital, a facility for people with HIV, before World AIDS Day, which falls on Dec 1.
“Government authorities should take the primary responsibility in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, but the commitment of medical staff and volunteers in society is also required,” he said.
Li said that although the rise of HIV infections has been contained in the country, the situation in China remains complex and difficult.
Peng Liyuan, wife of President Xi Jinping and a World Health Organization goodwill ambassador for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, attended the launch of an AIDS prevention event at Peking University on Nov 30 to promote awareness of AIDS prevention among students.
Wu Zunyou, head of the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention, said the proportion of young HIV/AIDS sufferers almost doubled between 2008 and 2012, and gay sex is considered a major reason for the increase.
The number of reported HIV/AIDS patients in Beijing reached 18,635 by the end of October, and 74 percent of them were infected through sex, according to the Beijing Health and Family Planning Commission.
Beijing reported 2,932 new patients in the first 10 months of the year, an increase of 21.3 percent compared with the same period last year.
Xiao Jie, a college student who discovered several years ago that he had contracted the virus, said his friends turned their backs on him.
“I stood up to become an HIV/AIDS volunteer to stop discrimination against us,” he said at the event on Nov 30.
Nationally, 497,000 people had been detected with HIV/AIDS in China by October, although the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention estimated last year that about 810,000 people with HIV/AIDS were living in China, many of them unaware of their status.