Number Of AIDS Cases In
China Surges Past Half-Million
By Tom O'Byrne
The number of AIDS-related cases in China has topped the half-million mark and continues to climb.
China officials report HIV infection rates jumped forty per cent in the past year.
China's health ministry says three quarters of the mostly young rural men contract the disease through drug use. At present 18-thousand Chinese have been diagnosed as having full-blown AIDS, but authorities fear that the lack of awareness and minimal testing procedures in much of China's vast rural hinterland is covering up a bigger problem. The ruling state council is now being asked to confront touchy issues like intravenous drug use, homosexuality and a booming sex industry in a bid to combat the problem. Tom O'Byrne, Beijing.
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