BEIJING: The World Health Organization issued a call to action to China today over HIV/AIDS as government figures said nearly half a million people are living with the disease or its precursor, with hundreds of thousands more thought to be undiagnosed.
Bernhard Schwartlaender, the World Health Organization’s representative in China, wrote in an op-ed in the state-run China Daily newspaper that “there is much more China needs to do” to prevent infection and better help those living with HIV.
“Perhaps most importantly, we must eliminate stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV, and at-risk populations such as men who have sex with men, sex workers, and injecting drug users,” Schwartlaender wrote.
The op-ed was published on World AIDS Day, a day after the National Health and Family Planning Commission said that by the end of October, a total of 497,000 people in China had been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS since the country’s first case in 1985.
Another 154,000 have died from AIDS over the past three decades, the Commission said.
China’s National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention last year estimated that as many as 810,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in the country, including those who have not yet been diagnosed, out of a total population of 1.36 billion.
That is a far lower proportion than India, where UNAIDS says there are more two million people living with HIV, in a slighter smaller total population- although UNAIDS does not give figures for China.
Source : NDTV Health News