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China eyes expansion of AIDS interventions

BEIJING - The coverage of effective HIV/AIDS interventions among the nation`s high-risk groups should be raised to 90 percent in five years, Vice-Premier Li Keqiang said at a recent conference. 

Counseling and testing services should be available at all county-level-and-above hospitals, and available at grass-roots clinics in high-prevelance regions, said Li while presiding over the plenary meeting of the State Council AIDS Working Committee on Friday. 

Governments should provide HIV/AIDS-related non-government organizations (NGOs) with financial and other kinds of supports so as to bring their unique roles in HIV prevention and control into full play, Li said. 

Furthermore, Li called for better medical treatment to people living with HIV and efforts to lower fatality rate such as addresing their financial difficulties. 

Additionally, Li said more assistance should be provided to people living with HIV, and their rights and interests should be better protected, calling upon the entire society to root out discriminations against them in terms of medical services, employment and schooling, among others. 

The Friday meeting heard a work report by the Ministry of Health on the status quo and future plans of HIV prevention and control, and endorsed a five-year plan for the 2011-2015 period. 

It was agreed on the meeting that remarkable progresses had been made in HIV prevention and control nationwide. For example, the spreading of the disease abated, the fatality rate fell, social discrimination reduced and life quality of people living with HIV as well as AIDS patients improved. 

Li said, by the end of 2015, new infections of HIV/AIDS and its fatality rate should be reduced considerably as compared to 2010. 

Li also visited HIV/AIDS medical personnel, volunteers of NGOs, and people living with HIV ahead of the World AIDS Day which falls on December 1. 

In the voluntary testing clinic of the Beijing Diseases Prevention and Control Center (CDC), Li said counseling and testing are crucial to the early detection and early treatment of HIV/AIDS, and encouraged the clinic staff to work hard on the very front-line of HIV prevention and control. 

While visiting NGOs situated in the Beijing CDC, Li greeted people living with HIV and volunteers, shaking hands with them. He recognized the role of NGOs in keeping the disease at bay, particularly in terms of HIV/AIDS awareness education and intervention. 

Li said HIV prevention and control is a systemic project that takes the entire society to carry out, calling for establishing a mechanism to involve "social forces" into HIV prevention and control. 

Li asked health authorities at all levels to keep close contact with HIV-related NGOs, providing assistance needed to these organizations and their volunteers. 

"Care, respect and assistance are the best pain relievers for people living with HIV," Li said, calling upon the entire society to pay greater attention and care to this group of people.

 
Date:2011-11-21 20:37:04     
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