December 1, 2010
The total number of AIDS-related deaths reported in China since the first cases of the disease were documented in the 1980s now stands at 68,315 -- a jump of "nearly 20,000 since an official estimate [was made] last year, state media said Monday," Agence France-Presse reports. "The number of reported HIV/AIDS sufferers stood at 370,393, the brief report[ed] by China Central Television said, compared with a ministry figure last year of 319,877," according to the news service. The government "did not give a reason for the sharp rise in death and infection figures, but [it] has been making efforts to improve reporting of cases," AFP writes (11/29). Also Monday, China's cabinet pledged "to step up screening for HIV/AIDS," as well as prevention and treatment programs, Xinhua reports (11/29).