New China HIV cases grow to over 3,000 a month

BEIJING Tue Nov 6, 2007 12:50am EST

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China's new HIV/AIDS cases have accelerated to more than 3,000 a month, with the proportion of cases caused by sexual transmission increasing, state media said on Tuesday.

China recorded 3,223 new infections per month on average between January and October, the official China Daily said on Tuesday, compared with 3,090 cases a month reported by Xinhua news agency for the first half of this year.

Nearly 38 percent of the cases reported in the first half were caused by sexual transmission, a rise from 30 percent last year, the paper quoted Wang Ning, deputy director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, as saying.

AIDS had killed more than 3,000 people in China so far this year, it said.

China has become increasingly open about AIDS in recent years, facing up to an epidemic once stigmatized as a disease of the West.

As of end of September, a total of about 220,000 people were reported to have contracted HIV virus, and a quarter of them had developed AIDS, Wang was quoted as saying.

But the United Nations estimated earlier this year the number of HIV/AIDS sufferers in the country at around 650,000.

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