Health Experts Urge China to Contain the Spread of AIDS
January 13, 2003
Visiting U.S. AIDS experts on Monday urged immediate action by China to prevent further spread of the disease, while Chinese health officials said the number of cases and deaths throughout the country had risen in the past year. "The AIDS epidemic is still very serious in China," said Qi Xiaoquiu, director general of the Disease Control Department in the Health Ministry. "Almost all the provinces and regions in China reported new cases of AIDS in 2002."
Qi was among 120 participants at a one-day seminar aimed at increasing cooperation between China and the United States in the fight against HIV/AIDS. U.S. Sen. William Frist, a Tennessee Republican who is a heart and lung transplant surgeon, was honorary head of the American delegation, which also included representatives from CDC, the National Institutes of Health, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Chinese government says 1 million people have been infected with HIV/AIDS, but outside experts warn the number is higher and could reach 10 million by the end of the decade. "We have much work to do in working together to find ways of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS," said Bates Gill, an Asia expert with Center for Strategic and International Studies, based in Washington, D.C. "We would like to urge Chinese leaders to act pre-emptively now to contain the pandemic and avoid future high costs -- socially and economically."
The delegation will spend the rest of the week visiting Chinese research institutes and meeting officials. Gill said the visit would provide a chance to better understand China's situation, exchange ideas, develop private-public partnerships, and add a new dimension to U.S.-China relations.
01.13.03; Audra Ang
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.