Leading Researcher Says China's AIDS Data Probably Accurate
November 26, 2007
China's official HIV figures are in line with a new UN report on global infections, according to AIDS expert Dr. David Ho. The globally famous researcher, who helped found New York's Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, remarked on the numbers Thursday during a speech at the University of Hong Kong.
China revised its HIV infection estimate down from nearly 1 million people to 840,000 in 2004, and in 2005 revised that estimate down again to 650,000 infections. Recent new estimates of global HIV infections from UNAIDS and the World Health Organization were also revised lower, reflecting a methodology that gave more weight to low-risk groups and national household surveys, said Ho.
"I have no basis to say whether the official AIDS estimates are right or not, but I feel that it is consistent with what the calculations are showing for the world," said Ho, who also runs the China AIDS Institute, a public AIDS awareness and prevention program operated by Chinese-US organizations in mainland China.
Ho urged Chinese officials to focus more on sexual transmission of HIV. Health experts warn that HIV could become more widespread in China if sex workers infect male clients, who in turn infect their wives. "I think we have to look out for that burgeoning epidemic," he said.
China promises free HIV testing and free treatment for poor patients, in addition to a ban against HIV/AIDS discrimination. The UN is pressing China to reach more patients and overcome local officials' reluctance to cooperate in fighting the disease.
11.22.2007; Min Lee
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.