November 30, 2016 / 12:15 AM / 9 months ago

China vows to step up fight against AIDS

SHANGHAI, Nov 30 (Reuters) - China will intensify efforts to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and accelerate the development of new drugs to treat the virus, the government has said.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at a national meeting to discuss strategies in dealing with HIV/AIDS "notable achievements" had been made over the 2011-2015 period but more efforts were needed in areas like prevention and education.

China would provide guaranteed funding to prevent AIDS and would implement measures to enable comprehensive blood testing and prevent mother-to-baby transmission, Li said late on Tuesday.

China would also encourage social organisations and volunteer groups to help keep the virus under control and would strengthen international cooperation, according to a notice posted on the country's official government website. (www.gov.cn)

China said in a national health plan published earlier this year it would aim to provide more free medicines to help treat AIDS and also promised to improve its AIDS testing facilities.

According to the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 575,000 Chinese people were living with HIV/AIDS by October last year. (Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Paul Tait)

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