Xinhua News Agency (10.23.03) - Thursday, October 23, 2003
Twenty-two prominent Chinese scientists have warned that AIDS
will become a "nationwide scourge" in 10 years' time unless
prompt, efficient prevention and control measures are taken.
The warning came in a report on the progress of the "121 Joint
Action Plan," launched in March 2003. The plan, sponsored by
the Chinese Foundation for Prevention of STD and AIDS, is
themed "Live and Let Live," and the plan's committee has
designated November as "AIDS Care Month," which will feature a
variety of charitable activities including a benefit
performance in the Great Hall of the People on Dec. 1, World
Official figures show about 1 million HIV/AIDS patients in
China; however, experts estimate the actual number infected is
higher, and that the figure could possibly exceed 10 million
by 2010 unless action is taken.
Zeng Yi, an AIDS expert with the Chinese Ministry of Health,
said both the government and the public had underestimated the
possibility of a widespread AIDS epidemic within the next 10
years. He said that much remains to be done in terms of
policymaking, extensive publicity to raise awareness, and
Considering the shortage of funds for AIDS prevention and
control, the scientists are hoping that business and industry
support the plan.