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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Chinese Scientists Call for Attention to AIDS Control and

October 23, 2003
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 AIDS Day.

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 scientific research.

Considering the shortage of funds for AIDS prevention and control, the scientists are hoping that business and industry support the plan.