Route of AIDS in China Is Traced
July 8, 2005
On Monday in Kobe, Japan, researchers from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases told the 7th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific that China's HIV/AIDS epidemic appears to be spreading along drug trafficking routes connecting the Yunnan province to Southeast Asia. By 1989, HIV had been diagnosed among IV drug users in western Yunnan, and the disease quickly spread to the Xinjiang Uighur and Guang Xizhuan autonomous regions in northwest and southeast China, respectively. By investigating HIV strains in Yunnan, researchers estimated their relationship with strains in India and neighboring countries. They discovered two strains of HIV -- one found in Thailand in 1988 and another that was a hybrid of strains found in Thailand and India. Two new sub-types, both derived from the Indian-Thai hybrid, were also found in the Xinjiang Uighur and Guang Xizhuan regions. According to the researchers, the strains found in China have traveled from the Golden Triangle, the world's largest heroin producing region comprising Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.
San Jose Mercury News
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