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HIV/AIDS cases in China up 45%

25th February 2008

The Chinese authorities are reporting a sharp jump in 2007 in diseases transmitted through sex or blood, including AIDS and syphilis.

New AIDS infections soared 45% in 2007, compared with 2006, the Health Ministry said in a statement, while new syphilis cases rose 24%. The statement gave only the percentage increases.

China has been fighting a surge HIV/AIDS infections, now mainly sexually transmitted, though has said previously that the rate overall is slowing. Intravenous drug use was previously cited as the main cause.

The government had said late last year it estimated about 700,000 people were living with HIV/AIDS in China in 2007, up from an earlier estimate of 650,000. It launched a major television campaign to promote condoms, notable in a country where sex remains taboo subject in many areas.

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