Observers hail the success of China’s AIDS treatment method
University volunteers in Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, tie ribbons to a billboard to mark World AIDS Day, which falls on December 1 each year . Photo: VCG
The “Chinese model” of treatment has helped reduce the death rate among Chinese AIDS patients in recent years and has proven to be one of the world’s most effective and cheapest methods of combating this deadly disease. Chinese experts said after the latest official report indicated that the epidemic was still at a low level of prevalence in China.
A total of 958,000 AIDS-infected patients in China were reported as of the end of October this year, according to statistics from the Office of Disease Control and Prevention of the National Health Commission (NHC) of China.
From January to October this year, 230 million people were tested nationwide, of which 131,000 were found newly infected, the NHC said ahead of Sunday, the 32nd annual World AIDS Day.
The commission said 86.6% of infected patients eligible for treatment received antiviral therapy, with a success rate of 93.5%.
China has made significant progress in the prevention and control of AIDS, especially in recent years, said Gao Fu, head of the country’s center for disease control and prevention.
HIV infection through blood transmission has been virtually eliminated, while infections among injecting drug users and mother-to-child transmission have been effectively reduced. Sexual transmission has become the main route of transmission, according to experts.
China has promoted HIV testing and outreach, and made notable progress in strengthening HIV testing and counseling, said Wu Zunyou, head of the centre’s AIDS and HIV prevention and control center. Chinese disease control and prevention.
China’s HIV diagnosis rate increased from 21% in 2005 to 69% in 2018, and the virus inhibition rate reached 94% in 2018 from 85% in 2011, an employee of the China Control and Control Center. disease prevention. was quoted by China News Service on Sunday.
New technologies have also played an important role in increasing the HIV detection rate in China.
The newly developed test kits, which only require saliva and urine, have saved many the embarrassment of going to public institutes for a test, experts said.
In October, a research center at Xiamen University and Beijing Wantai BioPharm, a biopharmaceutical company, developed a urine test kit that can test for HIV by collecting urine, and the result is published in 15 minutes.
The Chinese government has also stepped up efforts to provide treatment, relief and medical safety for AIDS patients.
In September, 10 ministries, including the NHC, presented a three-year plan from 2019 to 2022 to curb the spread of AIDS.
The plan required that AIDS treatment be included in a hospital’s performance review and encouraged hospitals to use the Internet and other new technologies to provide remote consultations and treatment for the disease.
Premier Li Keqiang clarified in the instruction that all levels of government and departments should shoulder their responsibilities to increase investment, make effective and down-to-earth efforts to ensure treatment, relief and medical safety. patients.
He said more scientific and technological issues, such as drug development, should be addressed, while more humanistic care should be provided to patients to continue improving their quality of life, according to an article published on the site on Saturday. Web of the Chinese State Council.
China is including more AIDS drugs in its medical insurance system, which has eased the burden on some patients, Wang Ruotao, former researcher at the National Center for AIDS Control and Prevention, told the Global Times. .
Construction workers learn HIV prevention skills on Friday in Kunming, southwest China’s Yunan Province. Photo: VCG
More challenges ahead
The NHC report found that the number of adolescents and older people infected with HIV was on the rise among reported cases of HIV infection from January to October.
People aged 60 or older and infected with HIV have increased in recent years, from 9.7% in 2011 to 16.46% in 2018, Wu said, noting that the boom had even exceeded the increase in the elderly population in the country.
Many older people are not educated about safe sex, feeling that they do not need protection because they have already lost their fertility, Chinese experts said, noting that older people have not either. sufficient knowledge of AIDS.
Meanwhile, young people, despite the information available on AIDS, easily overlook the risks in real life, Wang said. He pointed to the new social media and dating apps.
It is estimated that a quarter of all people infected with HIV in China have not been tested or are unaware of the infection.
Public awareness of AIDS needs to be improved urgently, Zhou Yuhui, an official with the NHC’s Disease Control and Prevention Center, was quoted by media as saying.
Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping and World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV / AIDS, on Thursday attended a World AIDS Day related activity at the University of the communication from China to Beijing.
During the activity, she visited the volunteer AIDS prevention services and encouraged the attendants to contribute their ideas to prevent AIDS from entering campus.
To raise awareness about AIDS prevention and treatment, Tencent and the China Association for the Prevention and Control of STDs and AIDS launched an online game on Sunday that focuses on the lives of three AIDS patients and follows their treatment.