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International News

UN Report: Environmental Havoc, AIDS Threaten China's Progress in Living Standards

March 26, 2004

A UN Development Program study, released Thursday, said environmental damage from China's economic growth, the spread of AIDS, and growing poverty threaten the country's drive to establish better living standards. The report assesses China's ability to meet goals set by the Millennium Summit in 2000, including halving extreme poverty and hunger worldwide by 2015.

The report warned that despite certain improvements in treating HIV/AIDS patients, China must take more effective action to halt the spread of the virus that has already infected roughly 1 million Chinese. It noted low condom use, poor-quality condoms and high rates of infection among intravenous drug users and sex- industry workers. "If China does not take up the fight against AIDS seriously and actively, there could be up to 10 million people living with HIV/AIDS by 2010," Khalid Malik, UN resident coordinator in China, said in a statement from Beijing.

"A further explosion in the number of people with AIDS could hurt China's efforts to alleviate poverty," Malik said. While the report praised China's success in reducing the number of rural poor from 250 million in 1978 to 30 million in 2000, it pointed to a growing income gap between urban and rural areas, and to the rising number of unemployed workers falling back into poverty.

Back to other news for March 26, 2004

Adapted from:
Associated Press
03.25.04; Elaine Kurtenbach

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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
More News on HIV/AIDS in China