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Methadone Saves Over 7,000 Drug Users From HIV Infection in China

June 24, 2011

China's Ministry of Health said Thursday that more than 7,000 HIV infections have been avoided as a result of methadone maintenance treatment. The use of methadone as a substitute for heroin in drug treatment has been legal in China since 2004, and the HIV infection rate among people undergoing MMT has declined ever since, the ministry said.


China now operates 708 methadone clinics, providing MMT to more than 300,000 addicts, said Wu Zunyou, director of the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention at the country's Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The infection rate among users receiving MMT was 1 per 100 in 2005; it now stands at 0.38, Wu said. Among registered users not undergoing MMT, the rate is between 2.07 and 9.96 per 100, he said.

Methadone clinics are common in the southwestern provinces that border international drug-trafficking routes, including Yunnan and Guangxi. A single dose of methadone costs about 10 yuan (US $1.50).

Wu said MMT has helped reduce China's heroin consumption by 41.8 metric tons. In addition, approximately 7,500 program participants have obtained jobs.

Back to other news for June 2011

Adapted from:
Xinhua News Agency

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Chinese HIV/AIDS Organizations
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on HIV Prevention in China

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