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China's HIV
population increases by 30%

China's HIV
population increases by 30%

China has reported a 30% increase in HIV cases in the first 10 months of this year compared to all of 2005, the nation's health ministry said Wednesday. The report comes days after the United Nations reported that approximately 35.9 million people in the world have HIV.

The increase is at least partly a result of easier access to testing. The ministry said that the biggest source of the infection is intravenous-drug use.

President Hu Jintao signaled the new approach of speaking more openly about HIV/AIDS when he appeared on a television show in 2004 speaking and shaking hands with AIDS patients, the AP reports.

Of the 183,733 cases of HIV reported through October 31, more than 40,000 were AIDS diagnoses. According to Reuters, U.N. experts and the Chinese health ministry estimate that through December 2005, approximately 650,000 people in China were HIV-positive, suggesting that many people are unaware of being infected.

"Before 2002, only 10% of all infections were caused by sexual contact," health ministry bureau deputy director Hao Yang told the China Daily. (The Advocate)

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