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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

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China HIV/AIDS Chronology #2

Parts to report 1 2 3 4 5


11 August 1995
The State Education Commission (SEC) announced it will require all 2.40 million incoming college and university students to take a HIV/AIDS prevention course.  The reported stated, "It is an urgent task to promote knowledge about sex, although college and university students are not the affected group of people by AIDS." The course will cover how HIV is spread and ways to prevent its transmission. Among those infected with HIV/AIDS in China, 0.62 percent are below the age of 15; 8.62 percent are between the ages of 16 to 19; and 51.69 percent are between 20 and 29 years old.
––"China to Conduct Education on AIDS Among College Students," Xinhua, 11 August 1995; in Lexis-Nexis. Academic Universe, 11 August 1995,; "Shanghai to Launch AIDS Education Among College Freshmen," Xinhua, 26 August 1995; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 26 August 1995.

27 October 1995
Ministry of Health's General Director, Dr. Cao Ronggui believes "openness" has caused the high HIV rate in Guangdong province.  He said that sexual intercourse was the main mode of transmission in Guangdong province, compared to Yunnan and Guangxi provinces, where intravenous drug use is the main cause. Guangdong, Yunnan and Guangxi provinces have China's highest HIV infection rates. Officials have warned that the number of HIV carriers in China could rise to 266,000 because of China's unscreened blood supply.
––Rhonda Lam Wan, "'Openness' Causes High HIV Rates," South China Morning Post, 27 October 1995, p. 10; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 27 October 1995,

28 October 1995
China’s Health Ministry and State Council announced a nationwide campaign to “spread knowledge about prevention and control of the deadly disease.”  Officials report that there are 2,248 HIV patients and 77 have advanced to AIDS.
––“China to Launch Nationwide AIDS Prevention Campaign,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 28 October 1995; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 28 October 1998,

30 October 1995
A recent State Council-approved report by the Ministry of Health (MOH) entitled "AIDS - Prevention and Control" warns the Chinese population must be educated on AIDS prevention. The report suggested the more information people have, the less likely they are to contract HIV/AIDS.  Since 1985, the AIDS virus has spread to 22 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities under the direct control of Beijing. To date, 2,428 people have been discovered to carry HIV, of which 77 have developed full-blown AIDS. The report said, although the actual number of AIDS cases may be low in relation to China's population, the rate of infection is increasing every year. In 1994, 531 people were diagnosed with HIV, this was a 100 percent increase from the previous year. During the first six months of 1995, 654 people have been found to carry the HIV virus, 12 of whom have full-blown AIDS. The number is already greater than 1994's total. China is estimated to have 50,000 to 100,000 HIV cases and the infection rate in increasing.
––"Public Health Ministry Calls for Education on AIDS Prevention and Control," Xinhua, 30 August 1995; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 30 October 1995,

5 November 1995
The Ministry of Health (MOH) listed the blood-for-cash system, its own limitation in screening for HIV, and a heavy reliance on migrant blood donors as the primary sources of a probable AIDS epidemic in China.  An official with the World Health Organization (WHO) states that offering money for blood donation naturally attracted the groups most at risk for carrying HIV - the down-and-out, drug addicts, prostitutes, and migrants.  The State Council is currently reviewing a five year plan to fight the spread of AIDS in China. The first priority focuses on preventing the spread of AIDS through sexual behavior.  It will achieve this aim by counseling high risk groups, such as prostitutes, drug addicts, homosexuals, long-distance truck drivers, patients with venereal diseases and migrants, especially women.  The secondary priority is to clean up the blood supply.  But according to Qi Xiaoqiu, Deputy Director of the Health Ministry's Department of Disease Control, the Ministry of Health has requested that blood screening be done in the big cities since 1993, "but it is expensive."  Qi stated, "Local officials say they don't have a (AIDS) problem so they don't do it. And, even if you can afford the reagents, they're hard to find."  According to Emile Fox, a WHO expert, "China is the first country to have policies and plans in place before an epidemic."
––Charles Hutzler, "Blood Problems, Poverty Point to AIDS Outbreak in China," Associated Press, 5 November 1995; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 5 November 1995,

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9 November 1995
The Chinese Association for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS Prevention and Control organized a national conference of non-governmental organizations (NGO) on AIDS control and prevention. The conference was attended by over 30 NGOs from across China, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO).  The aim of the conference is to ask China's NGO community to "provide information and suggestions for the government to work out policies on AIDS control and to assist the government with field work," reported China Daily.  The NGOs were also encouraged to promote exchanges with international AIDS organizations and to introduce the world's latest finding.
––"China NGOs Steps up AIDS Drive," Xinhua, 9 November 1995, in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 9 November 1995,

20 November 1995
The Ministry of Public Security reported that over 300,000 prostitutes were arrested in 1994, of which half worked in a fixed location. "The problem is worsening day by day. Cases of prostitution and the number of prostitutes are increasing," said the Public Security News.
––"Prostitution on the Rise in China," Agence France Presse, 20 November 1995; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 20 November 1995,

22 November 1995
Zheng Xiwen, Chief of China’s Academy of Preventive Medicine reported that the official estimates of China’s HIV cases are 100,000.
––“AIDS Cases on the Rise in China,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 22 November 1995;  in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 22 November 1995,

22 November 1995
Shanghai government sources reported 82 HIV/AIDS cases, of which 24 were Shanghai residents. Out of the 24 cases, 23 contracted HIV through sex with a foreigner.
––"Shanghai AIDS Cases Rising," Xinhua, 22 November 1995;  in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 24 November 1995,

29 November 1995
China Central Television (CCTV) broadcasted its first “series of documentaries on AIDS.” They include interviews with a prostitute and a common Chinese person who are infected with HIV/AIDS.
––“Chinese Get Candid Look at AIDS," The Gazette (Montreal), 29 November 1995, p. B1; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 29 November 1995,

1 December 1995
A report released on World AIDS Day stated that there are 2,594 cases of HIV in China, 80 of which have developed full-blown AIDS, and of these 50 have died.  However, AIDS researchers estimate the total number of AIDS cases in China to be between 50,000 and 100,000 people. Health Minister Chen Minzhang said 26 of China's 30 regions have reported HIV/AIDS cases. In 1994, 531 HIV cases were reported, and through September of 1995, an additional 820 cases were reported. In China, AIDS is transmitted through sex, blood, and now mother to child transmission.  It was reported, 70 percent of AIDS cases in China are related to drug use.  To combat the spread of AIDS, China has launched a nation-wide supervisory and report network, and an association and a foundation for the prevention and control of AIDS and AIDS hotlines in all the major cities. Only recently has the State Council approved the Ministry of Health's five year action plan to combat AIDS.  The United Nations announced it will establish the United Nations AIDS program (UNAIDS) to coordinate world-wide efforts in the fight against AIDS.
––"China Has Massive AIDS Education Drive," Xinhua, 1 December 1995; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 1 December 1995,

1 December 1995
The city of Beijing launched a city-wide education and anti-AIDS publicity campaign to correspond with World AIDS Day. More than 200 hundred hospitals and medical facilities have offered consultation and distributed tens of thousands of educational materials to people.  Instances of HIV infection in Beijing have risen every year. This year 30 cases of AIDS have been discovered, of which seven are foreigners, 18 are non-Beijingers, and five are Beijing residents. In total, the number of HIV cases found in 1993 was 23. Since 1985, 117 cases of HIV infection have been reported in Beijing, including 50 foreigners, 39 non-Beijing residents and 28 Beijing residents. Of the 28, seven have died. According to official statistics, the STD infection rate has increased 28.76 percent over 1994.
––"Beijing City Launches AIDS Campaigns," Xinhua, 1 December 1995; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 1 December 1995,

1 December 1995
China's Jiangsu province has established its first AIDS Hotline. Since 1986, when Jiangsu began testing for venereal diseases, 14 cases of HIV have been recorded. Six cases were from overseas, two from other provinces, and six Jiangsu residents. Of the six local cases, four contracted the disease in Africa, one in Thailand and one within his family.
––"Jiangsu Opens Hotline for AIDS Prevention," Xinhua, 1 December 1995; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 1 December 1995,

26 December 1995
The Guangdong newspaper, Yangcheng Evening News, reported that 10 Beijing university students have tested positive for the AIDS virus. The State Education Commission has said it will protect the rights and anonymity of the university students infected with HIV.
––Geoffrey Crothall, "Privacy Vow Over Students with HIV," South China Morning Post, 26 December 1995, p. 5; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 26 December 1995,

31 January 1996
China's Health Daily cited a story about Xiao Gaopan of Xiangzhong, Hunan province. Xiao contracted AIDS while working in the east African country of Tanzania. Upon learning he was infected with HIV, his family confined him to his own room and would leave his food at the door. "I dared not speak a word to him out of fear the virus would infect my throat," said his wife. Xiao died alone. However, after his death, fear-struck neighbors have demanded Xiao's family leave. Many have enclosed their balconies and sealed their windows. The youngest daughter has lost her job at a factory, the older daughter's husband left her, and the son's marriage is in trouble. Despite government intervention, residents insist they leave.  "If the Xiao family isn't forced to leave by authorities, we'll make sure they move," said an angry woman. The Ministry of Health reported there are 2,480 cases of HIV nationwide, however, some experts place the number as high as 100,00 HIV carriers.
––"Chinese Community Ostracizes AIDS Victim," United Press International, 21 January 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 31 January 1996,

29 February 1996
The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported China's drug user population is increasing rapidly. Incomplete statistics show the number of registered users to be 148,000 in 1991, 250,000 in 1992, and 380,000 in 1994. The MOH also confirmed that 1,400 drug users are HIV positive, 60-70 percent of the total number of HIV cases in China.
––"China's Narcotics Control Work Faces Rigorous Challenges," Hsin Wan Pao (Hong Kong), 29 February 1996, p 3; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 29 February 1996,

18-20 March 1996
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) along with officials from China and Myanmar participated in a drug abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention conference in Kunming, Yunnan. The conference evaluated the progress made in reducing the number of drug addicts and the HIV infection rate since the program was started in 1993.  According to the report in areas where the program was implemented, the number of drug users has significantly decreased and there have been no new cases of HIV infections. "There has been no new drug user nor new HIV/AIDS case in any of the four pilot villages, and the number of drug users has been reduced," said Jiang Pusheng, Secretary-General of China's Yunnan Narcotics Control Committee. The conference will also look to increase cross-border cooperation at the local level to monitor drug abuse and HIV infections.
––"UN to Review Drug Abuse Along China-Myanmar Border," Xinhua, 15 March 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 15 March 1996,; "Burma, China Join Fight Drugs, AIDS," Agence France Presse, 5 April 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 5 April 1996,

29 March 1996
Beginning in 1994, the European Union (EU) has provided 2.8 million USD to establish two national sexually transmitted disease (STD) control centers in Beijing and Shanghai. In addition, 25 provincial training centers have been set-up at 11 anti-epidemic stations and 14 institutions for STD control in 21 provinces. The program will also train Chinese medical workers in epidemiology, the detection and treatment of HIV and teach them related management skills.  China has reported over 300,000 STD cases in 1995, but experts estimate there are over three million cases.
––"EU Funds Sexual Health Projects in China," Xinhua, 29 March 1996, in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 29 March 1996,

16 April 1996
China has announced the establishment of a "disease prevention belt" along Yunnan's border with Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam. The network will be set up along six frontier ports, eights border prefectures, and 26 border counties.  The "belt" is designed to prevent HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases from entering China. "Currently the province has registered some 2,000 HIV-positive patients, more than 70 percent of the national total," said Yang Chaobin, Vice-Director of the Provincial Health Department. Needle sharing, sexual contact and mother-infant methods of transmission are to blame for Yunnan's high HIV population.  Yang continued, the goal of the five year program is to stop "infectious disease among children from spreading across the borders and getting the AIDS epidemic under control." To date, this is the first time a Chinese officials has described the China HIV epidemic in such terms. China has reported 2,428 HIV cases.
––"Health Officials Fight AIDS Epidemic," United Press International, 16 April 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 16 April 1996,

18 April 1996
The Beijing Evening News reported there are 122 HIV cases in Beijing. Among the 122 cases, 51 involved foreigners, 41 "transient" people, and 30 local residents. Of the 30 residents, 12 have developed full-blown AIDS and seven have died. The report noted before 1989 all HIV cases involved foreigners or non-residents. In 1989, the first HIV cases involving a local resident were reported.  Between 1989 and 1992, all local carriers were people who have travel aboard. Since 1992, all HIV patients are venereal disease patients, homosexuals, bisexuals, or prostitute customers. To date China has an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 HIV cases.
––"122 HIV-Infected Persons Found in Beijing," Xinhua, 18 April 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 18 April 1996,

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3 May 1996
Beijing hosted a blood drive to encourage blood donation and increase the quality of China's blood supply.  Sun Baiqiu, Vice-Chairman of China's Red Cross Society said donated blood is preferred over sold blood because the quality is better and the donor's overall health tends to be better. However, all donors must have a medical check-up before they donate. Also, the blood can only be used after it is tested for hepatitis-B, hepatitis-C, HIV, syphilis, and other viruses. Most of the 800,000 liters of blood collected annually is used in hospitals and plasma used in the production of 4,000 tons of blood products each year is obtained from people get paid to give blood.  Donated blood accounts for less than 10 percent of the total.
––"Red Cross Blood Drive in Beijing," Xinhua, 3 May 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 3 May 1996,

7 May 1996
Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies of China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam met in Beijing to create a reproductive health and AIDS prevention manual. This manual will be the basis in training 10,000 young adults "who, in turn, will cascade key HIV/AIDS prevention messages to young people in China and the other participating countries. In addition to youth peer education, member countries will also focus particularly on strategies to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS among women, who much rely on their partners to practice safe sex and are, therefore, increasingly vulnerable to the deadly virus," reported Xinhua.  "National boundaries cannot contain or exclude the HIV/VIRUS - which is why a regional approach to the pandemic is vital," said Patric Couteau, Regional Health Delegate for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.  HIV cases in Asia reached 4.3 million last year, and in China there are an estimated 100,000 HIV cases. Statistics show half of those infected with HIV in Asia are under 25 years old. He continued, "The epidemic in China is following the economic development of the country through migrant workers and truck drivers, so border areas will be a problem but so will cities nationwide."

Referring to China's AIDS prevention and awareness campaign launched last year, Werasit Sittitrai, Chairman of the Asian Red Cross and Red Crescent AIDS Task Force (ART) said it was a major turning point in the global fight against AIDS. "China's recent recognition of the AIDS problem is one of the success stories of the world." He continued, "Although there is allot more that needs to be done, we have seen work on AIDS, on prostitution and on drugs in China increase dramatically." An unnamed Chinese health expert added, "It is still difficult to work on AIDS, there are still big political problems in tackling the whole issue as it involves so many areas that the government wishes it didn't have." Officials estimate the number of prostitutes to be at more than one million and drug users at over 520,000. The Ministry of Health has reported 2,428 official cases of HIV infections.
––"Asian Youth Educated to Combat AIDS," Xinhua, 7 May 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 7 May 1996,; Lorien Holland, "China's New Focus on AIDS Hailed as Turing Point in Global Prevention," Agence France Presse, 7 May 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 7 May 1996,

16 May 1996
The World Bank and the Chinese Ministry of (MOH) Heath have jointly launched a five year program (1996-2000) to control "non-infectious chronic diseases" and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in China. Funded with a 10 million USD loan from the World Bank, the program will be set-up in Yunnan province, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chengdu, Luoyang in Henan province, Liuzhou in Guangxi province, and Weihai in Shandong province. According to the MOH, non-infectious diseases are increasing in China because of the aging population and changes in lifestyles. Also, sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, are also increasing. Experts believe increased awareness will be the most effective to stop the increase of chronic diseases in China.
––"Project launched to Prevent HIV/AIDS Among Chinese," Xinhua, 16 May 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 16 May 1996,

24 June 1996
Chen Chunming with the National Specialists' Committee for Preventing and Controlling AIDS reported the number of Chinese infected with the AIDS virus has reached 3,341 by the end of 1995, 841 more than originally reported. The number of cases that have developed into AIDS is 117, up from 77 in January. "The actual figure could be much larger," Chen warned. As international exchanges increase, AIDS has actually threatened everyone and the whole nation must pay careful attention to it," he said. Experts say the spread of AIDS in China is caused by needle sharing, mother-fetus transmission, and sexual contacts.
––"HIV Cases Reach 3,341," United Press International, 24 June 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 24 June 1996,

25 June 1996
Lu Weibao, a professor with the China Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, reported that an HIV-positive patient has tested negative after being treated with a Chinese herbal medicine called Sedav, which is developed by the S-Debri Pharmaceutical Development Group in Liaoning province. According to a report released at a recent conference on the diagnosis and treatment of AIDS last December, Beijing's You'an Hospital received four AIDS patients and two HIV patients. After a two month period of being treated with Sedav, all of the patients show marked improvement, and one patient's serum changed from positive to negative. All tests were performed by the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine.
––"HIV Patient Tests Negative After Herb Treatment in China," Xinhua, 25 June 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe,  25 June 1996,

11 July 1996
During a ceremony marking World Population Day, State Councilor Peng Peiyun said women are more vulnerable to HIV than men, and empowering women and educating both sexes about AIDS prevention would help reduce women's risk of contracting AIDS.  Also, she urged that illegal blood collection for clinical use be banned, and that a national donation system be established.
––"Beijing Holds Education Event on AIDS and Reproductive Health," Xinhua, 11 July 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 13 July 1996,

12 July 1996
Chen Chunming, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine warned that heterosexual transmission could become the leading cause of AIDS transmission in China. He said, "Public conceptions of marriage and sex are changing. Heterosexual transmission must be the focus of efforts to stop the spread. Prevention is the only way to control AIDS. We have to educate people with correct morals about love, family and sex." China has reported 3,341 cases of HIV infections, 117 have developed into AIDS.
––Rajiv Chandra, "China-AIDS: Unprotected Sex a Main Cause of "the Illness of Love," Inter Press Service (New Delhi), 12 July 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 12 July 1996,

1 August 1996
Ye Shunzhang, Director of the National Venereal Disease Control Center (NVDCC) reported that China's reported cases of venereal disease rose to 362,000 last year, and 18 percent annually. These included HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea and syphilis. Ye blamed the rise on VD cases on people's increased awareness about sex, and unsanitary toilets and bathtubs.
––"VD Cases Rising in China," Xinhua, 1 August 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 1 August 1996,

4 September 1996
Dai Zhicheng, Director of the Ministry of Health's (MOH) Disease Control Center reported that the State Council, along with representatives from 20 departments will put together a AIDS action plan for the next five to 10 years. Dai said the MOH plans to "upgrade laboratory testing techniques and carry out extensive publicity to increase public awareness of the risks."  Only half of China's 30 provinces and autonomous regions have the technical capabilities to test for the AIDS virus, reported China Daily.  In October a national AIDS prevention conference will be held to increase the necessity of AIDS prevention and taking "immediate and forceful actions."  A nationwide program will be reviewed, including the duties of different social sections and goals for AIDS control.

This year the Chinese government increased its national AIDS budget to 1.8 million USD, up from 602,000 USD last year. China reported 3,341 HIV cases last year. Last year saw an increase of 1,567 HIV cases, compared to an increase of only 502 cases reported in 1994. Some 117 people have developed full-blown AIDS, of which 82 have died. MOH officials estimate there are 10,000 HIV cases in China, but outside experts place the number at 100,000 HIV cases.  The number of reported venereal disease cases rose to 362,000 during 1995, a 18 percent increase. Yunnan province is reported to have 70 percent of China's HIV population.
––"China Attacks AIDS Explosion," United Press International, 4 September 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 4 September  1996,; "More Funds to Combat HIV/AIDS Disease," Xinhua, 4 September 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 4 September  1996,

16 October 1996
Health Minister Chen Minzhang told members attending the National Conference on AIDS Prevention and Control, that "We have no time to waste." He said, "A general unawareness of HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, prostitution, illegal blood supply and the drastic increase of sexually transmitted disease cases may also contribute to the HIV/AIDS epidemic." Furthermore, he was quoted as saying that "serious HIV/AIDS epidemics in neighboring countries," and China's own large migrant worker population has helped spread the disease. 

Peng Peiyun, State Councilor said, "We should complete mechanism of HIV/AIDS prevention and control, getting governmental departments, community organization and the whole society involved." She said, "We should make every possible effort to curb the HIV/AIDS epidemic."

The State AIDS Supervision Station said increases in HIV cases were reported in Beijing, Fujian, Hainan, and Xinjiang." A station spokesman said the national information campaigns "are obviously very weak. Awareness among high-risk groups is very low." The Ministry of Health (MOH) reports that the number of HIV cases in China is at 4,305 cases through the month of August, including 131 cases of full-blown AIDS. Of China's 30 regions and municipalities, 28 have reported having HIV cases. The MOH has identified there are three methods of transmitting HIV in China: sexual contact, contact with contaminated blood, and mother-to-child transmission.
––"China Sounds Alarm,"  United Press International, 15 October 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 15 October 1996,; "Experts Warn of AIDS Threat in China," Xinhua, 16 October 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 16 October 1996,; "Officials Say China has No Time to Waste to Control AIDS," Xinhua, 16 October 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 16 October 1996,

25 October 1996
The New York Times reported that blood products called serum albumin, manufactured by a Guangzhou Military Region enterprise call Wolongsong, and sold in Guangdong and Hong Kong, has tested positive for the AIDS virus. The enterprise and military run blood bank was attached to Military Hospital No. 161 and located in Wuhan.  In April, the Ministry of Health ordered that all blood products of the Wolongsong brand be removed from the shelves and destroyed.  However, there was no warning given in the Chinese press or given to foreign workers in China. The story broke earlier this year in a New York-based Chinese newspaper, the World Journal, and a newsletter called China Focus. After initial denials, on 28 October 1996, Minister of Health Chen Minzhang confirmed that the blood products were contaminated with the AIDS virus, but no patient had been infected, and that none of the products has been exported.  Military hospitals are not normally accountable to Ministry of Health officials, The New York Times reported.
––Patrick E. Tyler, "China Concedes Blood Serum Contained AIDS Virus," New York Times, 25 October 1997, p. A3; "AIDS in Blood Scare," The Australian, 28 October 1996, p. 7; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 28 October 1996,

1 November 1996
By the end of August the number of confirmed HIV cases in China has reached 4,305, with the number of affected region at 28 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. AIDS is transmitted in China the following ways:

  • Blood is the primary mode of transmission. Since blood donors are able to move about and donate in different geographical locations, they can spread the AIDS virus to all parts of China. In many areas, HIV cases have involved intravenous drug users.
  • Sexual transmission is gradually increasing. A growing number of people returning from abroad have tested positive for the AIDS virus. Experts have pointed out: "China's huge population, people's lack of knowledge about prevention, the continued existence of drug abuse and prostitution, the growing number of people with venereal diseases and ineffective prevention against infections through blood transfusions and from medical sources have all created opportunities of the spread of AIDS," reported the Zhong Guo Tongxun She News Agency.

––"More than 4,000 People said to be Suffering from AIDS," Zhongguo Tongxun She News Agency, 1 November 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 12 November 1996,

9 November 1996
Zhang Konglai, Director of the Beijing-based China AIDS Network and a member of China's National Expert Committee on AIDS Control said that China's blood supply system is vulnerable to contamination and has already led to six people becoming infected with the AIDS virus. "Satisfactory control of HIV is still not possible," said Zhong. "Its is very probable that, in the foreseeable future, an HIV epidemic is to occur within the country."  To date, China has reported 4,305 cases of HIV, and an estimated figure between 50,000 and 100,000 cases. Of the six people who contracted AIDS through infected blood or blood products, one has developed full-blown AIDS. China's blood supply is at risk of contamination because it primarily relies on professional blood donors who sell their blood. The system attracts drug addicts and prostitutes, as well as the general population who want to augment their income. Zhang noted that professional blood donors in several provinces have tested positive for HIV.  A contaminated blood supply meant an "explosive rise in HIV infection in rural areas may possible occur," he said.  Approximately 80 percent of China's population lives in the countryside.
––Didi Kirsten Tatlow, "AIDS Specialist Warns China's AIDS Blood System Vulnerable to HIV," Associated Press, 9 November 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 9 November 1996,

25 November 1996
Qi Guoming, Vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine announced the creation of a National AIDS Prevention and Control Center in Beijing.  The new center will conduct research on the spread of HIV/AIDS, provide technical assistance to HIV/AIDS labs, evaluate technological applications of HIV/AIDS diagnosis, research social behaviors, and promote publicity and education with regards to HIV/AIDS.
––"China to Set Up AIDS Study Center," Xinhua, 25 November 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 25 November 1996,

30 November 1996
The Shanxi Daily has reported the opening of Shanxi's first AIDS hotline.
––"China Opens AIDS Hotline in Northern Shanxi Province," Agence France Presse, 30 November 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 30 November 1996,

1 December 1996
During a conference marking World AIDS Day, Yin Dakui reported the number of confirmed HIV cases has risen to 5,157, of which 133 have developed full-blown AIDS by the end of October. It is estimated that China has 50,000 to 100,000 HIV cases. "China is undergoing an HIV/AIDS epidemic at present, since the speed of HIV virus transmissions obviously faster than before." Yin said. According to a United Nations report recently released, the AIDS epidemic may cost China up to 2 billion dollars annually in healthcare and lost labor by the year 2000. "Unlike some other Asian countries, China still has the opportunity to prevent the further spread of HIV/AIDS," Arthur Holcombe, UN resident coordinator in Beijing said. The conference was also accompanied by an STD and AIDS prevention and control exhibition that was open to the general public.
––"China Announces Latest HIV/AIDS Figures on World AIDS Day," Xinhua, 1 December 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 1 December 1996,; "China Counting the Cost of AIDS," Agence France Presse, 1 December 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 1 December 1996,

4 December 1996
A survey conducted among 1,000 families in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Wuhan showed that the majority of respondents correctly identified that sexual activity and blood transmission are the two main channels of AIDS transmission. However, many of them said they would maintain a distance away from relatives and friends infected with the AIDS virus. The study also showed that younger respondents are apt to know more about AIDS prevention than older ones.
––"More Chinese Citizens Understand AIDS, Survey Says," Xinhua, 4 December 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 4 December  1996,

6 December 1996
Chinese Premier Li Peng announced that the State Council has issued new regulations on China's blood supply. Li said the new laws would stipulate that all Chinese between the ages of 18 and 55 should donate blood, and calls for stricter measures to protect the nation's blood supply.  Li pointed to college students, soldiers and government workers to "play a leading role in blood donations," reported Xinhua.  The new law would ban paid blood donations and punish blood dealers. The Workers Daily said some professional blood donors have been found to carry AIDS virus in some areas since 1995. Furthermore, a Ministry of Health (MOH) survey has found that "40 percent to 50 percent of people who move around the country selling their blood plasma were infected with hepatitis C, and in some areas the infection rate was as high at 70 to 90 percent, the paper said.
––"China Passes Rules Protecting Blood Supply." Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 6 December 1996; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 6 December 1996,; "China Aims to Clean Up Blood Supplies with New Law," Associated Press, 28 December 1996;  in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 6 December 1996,

5 January 1997
Chinese Premier Li Peng signed a decree on the effective management of blood and blood products. The 48 regulatory articles "detail strict procedures for blood collection, the supervision of units that manufacture and manage blood products, as well as 'rigorous' punishments for violators," reports Xinhua.  The new regulations were drafted in accordance with the Law on Medicine and the Law on the Prevention and Treatment of Contagious Diseases," with the aim at preventing and controlling infectious diseases in the country's blood supply.  The new laws come after a number of Wolongsong-brand serum albumin vials produced by the military-run factory in Wuhan were found to contain HIV. "When we realized that a sample was infected with the HIV virus, we immediately ordered all the products recalled and all existing stocks destroyed," said Minister of Health Chen Minzhang.
––"China Seeks to Ensure Safety of Blood Products," Agence France Presse, 5 January 1997;  in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 5 January 1997,; "China Toughens Rules After Tainted Blood Sale," New York Times, 6 January 1997, p. A11;  in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 6 January 1997,

30 January 1997
Guangdong province has reported 54 cases of HIV infection, including six cases of full-blown AIDS in 1996, a 25 percent increase from 1995. Since Guangzhou's first reported HIV case, it has reported 214 HIV cases, including 17 cases of full-blown AIDS, of which nine have died.  Recently, officials discovered a one year-boy who tested positive for the presence of antibodies associated with HIV.   The provincial health department also reported more than 85,300 cases of venereal diseases last year. These included 29,770 cases of gonorrhea and 4,190 cases of syphilis, an overall rate of 3.4 percent higher than 1995. "Based on other Asian countries' experience, the Chinese scientists predicted that the surge of syphilis cases in the province may lead to a wider spread of AIDS in the next few years," reported Xinhua.
––"HIV/AIDS Cases Increase in Guangdong," Xinhua, 30 January 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 30 January 1997,; "China Province Tried to Stem HIV Rise," United Press International, 3 February 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 3 February 1997,

28 February 1997
Following the tainted blood products produced by a military manufacturing firm, the People's Military Surgeon published an article analyzing the threat HIV/AIDS has on the military. [Full Text]
––Wang Chicai, Zhang Xinsheng and Li Ying, "Impact of AIDS on the Military," Renmin Junyi (2) (People's Military Surgeon), 28 Feb 1997, pp 64-65.

7 April 1997
During a conference commemorating World Heath Day, Minister of Health Chen Minzhang said, "China is undergoing an HIV/AIDS epidemic at present."  Long believed to be isolated along China's coast and large cities, HIV/AIDS has started to appear in China's hinterland. "AIDS was originally contracted by foreigners," a doctor said. "Even if it appeared in China, it was only sporadically reported in the big cities, in the coastal provinces and border areas. But how could it happen that the virus appeared in our small inland town?" The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated the HIV prevalence rate of Chinese adults between the ages of 15 to 49 years old at 0.007 percent of the populace. However, since China reported its first AIDS case in 1985, the HIV infection rate has risen by more that 20 percent a year. Last year, the infection rate rose by 69 percent from the year before, said Chen. By the end of last October China recorded 5,157 HIV cases, of which 133 had full-blown AIDS. The estimated number of HIV infections is said to be between 50,000 and 100,000.
––Amy Woo, "China-Health: AIDS makes Deadly Inroads in the Hinterlands," Inter Press Service (New Delhi), 24 April 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 24 April 1997,

24 April 1997
A recent survey [4 December 1996] conducted in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Wuhan showed about one quarter of respondents know little about HIV/AIDS; two percent never heard of AIDS.  About one third linked the spread of AIDS to the "degradation of morals," while one percent said that AIDS was a punishment sent by the gods for failing of mankind.  Another report sponsored by the World Bank showed that 20 percent of people would not teach their children about HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, and only 10 percent of respondents knew how HIV/AIDS was transmitted.
––Amy Woo, "China-Health: AIDS makes Deadly Inroads in the Hinterlands," Inter Press Service (New Delhi), 24 April 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 24 April 1997,

20 May 1997
Some 150 Chinese and British scientists and doctors met in Beijing to discuss HIV/AIDS prevention and care. During the conference, jointly sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine (CAPM) and the British Chelsea Westminster Hospital, the participants discuss the "latest achievements in immunity, diagnosis, care, education, and managements," reported Xinhua.  China has reported a total of 5,990 HIV infections as of the end of 1996, of which 155 have developed AIDS. "The growing speed of HIV infections in China has accelerated in recent years, noted Yin Dakui, Vice-Minister of Public Health. "The spread of AIDS worldwide is not only a major health issue, but a political, social, and economic one," he added.
––"Sino-British Symposium on AIDS Prevention, Care," Xinhua, 20 May 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 20 May 1997,

22 May 1997
The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported a total of 369 new HIV cases in the first three months of 1997. Including the new cases, the total of HIV cases in China now stands at 6,359.  Vice Minister of Heath Yin Dakui said yesterday at the opening session of a National Symposium on AIDS Control that China will soon establish a national laboratory base to conduct research on HIV/AIDS control and treatment.
––"China Reports Rise in AIDS Incidence" Xinhua, 22 May 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 22 May 1997,

14 June 1997
The Gongming Pharmaceutical Company, based in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, reported it has successfully developed an AIDS drug "which is able to inhibit or even destroy the HIV virus without impairing human immune cells," reported Xinhua. The drug named Gongming Anti-HIV injection is made entirely of Chinese herbs. Tests conducted by the People's Liberation Army Medical Research Institute affirmed the new drug is effective "to a certain degree" in inhibiting the virus.
––"New Drug to Inhibit AIDS Developed in China," Xinhua, 14 June 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 14 June 1997,

8 July 1997
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) provided a 1.8 million USD grant to China to assist with the fight against HIV/AIDS over the next four years.  Ministry of Health (MOH) officials said the money will be used to focus on education programs in the three southern provinces of Fujian, Guangdong and Hainan. Also, the funds will used to train ministry workers and intervention activities among high-risk populations. "These activities will be supported by multi-sectional efforts at national and local levels and complemented by national policy development," reported Xinhua.  A survey conducted last year showed that 32 percent of all rural medical workers could not explain to patients how HIV was spread. China has reported some 7,000 HIV cases up to May 1997.
––"UN to Help China Fight AIDS, "Xinhua, 8 July 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 8 July 1997,; "UN Funds China AIDS Crackdown," United Press International, 8 July 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 8 July 1997,

3 August 1997
In a report on China's ancient trade routes, through which now flow China's illicit drug trade and AIDS, the Associated Press reported that in 1995 Xinjiang Autonomous Region reported no cases of HIV infection. However, by end of 1996, one in four out of 400 drug addicts tested positive for HIV infection.  Some experts believe the number of HIV cases in Xinjiang are as many as 50,000.  AIDS is being introduced along this route into small minority villages, and into cities later.  "Linxia is one of China's heroin hotspots," said Ma Weimin, a grain trader. "It's in all the villages. It everywhere." The Chinese police have begun to crack down on the drug trade by setting up road blocks, and posting notices warning of stiff penalties for drug offenses. Zhang Konglai said the AIDS virus has not taken hold in some smaller towns and cities, such as Linxia, because heroin is so cheap people prefer to smoke rather than inject it. However, as the crackdown continues, and heroin become scarcer, people will turn to needles, said Zhang, a Beijing Union Hospital epidemiologist.
––Charles Hutzler, "Ancient Trade Route Brings Modern Virus to Remote China," Associated Presse, 3 August 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 3 August 1997,

20 October 1997
While attending a Sex and AIDS Education Expo in Hong Kong, SAR, Liu Kangmai of the Chinese Association of STD/AIDS Control and Prevention said that mainland China can learn from Hong Kong experience in sex education. "I think the Chinese government fails to stress the importance of education. They think there is nothing you can do about AIDS. Hong Kong has a lot of experience in education and condom promotion, and China can learn a lot," he said. According to Liu, the Chinese government does realized the AIDS situation is becoming more serious because it increases AIDS funding every year, but should focus more on education campaigns.

A recent survey conducted by the Association revealed up to 80 percent of sex workers in the rural areas have never heard of AIDS, while sex workers in the cities do not insist on their clients wearing condoms. Out of 20,000 people, the survey revealed the most common contraceptive in China is the diaphragm, with only 5.4 percent of rural residents, and 18 percent of city residents using condoms. Some sex workers, as young as 16 years old in Guizhou never heard of AIDS and never opted to use condoms. "We asked what AIDS was and they said that they did not know. The second question was 'How is AIDS transmitted' and they said they could not answer because they didn't know how to answer the first question," said Liu. China's official government figures show 5,990 HIV cases, but some sex educators believe the number as high as 150,000 to 200,000. Western experts now believe the number of HIV cases could be as high as one million.

For Hong Kong health officials, cross-border sex is fast becoming Hong Kong's primary HIV/AIDS threat. A recent survey showed one in three men who visited a mainland prostitute did not use a condom, and of these men, 75 percent did not use a condom when they returned to their wives.
––Alison Smith, "Mainland Seeks HK Help over AIDS Fear; Most Rural Prostitutes Do Not Know About HIV," South China Morning Post, 20 October 1997, p. 10.

31 October 1997
Health Officials from China, neighboring countries in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific, and the World Health Organization (WHO) attend a meeting to establish regional measures to control the spread of infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS. Antonio Tismo, a WHO official said, "The intention was to have a coordinated effort in controlling the diseases resulting from the migration of those residing at the border countries."  China is particularly concerned with the rapid spread of infectious diseases across the border it shares with Southeast Asia. "Out regions may differ in policies, strategies and schedules of activities for communicable disease control, but we have a joint responsibility for the people who live in the border areas," said Dr. S.T. Han, Regional Director of WHO Western Pacific Office.
––"China: Meeting Backs Regional Links to Fight Diseases," China Daily, 31 October 1997, p. 2; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 31 October 1997,; "Asia-Pacific Health Officials Discuss Cross-Border AIDS Control," Agence France Presse, 31 October 1997; in Lexis-Nexis. Academic Universe, 31 October 1997,

13 November 1997
Chinese health officials report the official number of confirmed HIV cases in China reached 7,253, but experts believe the number to as high as 200,000. Last December, the reported number of cases was 5,157, but by June 1997, the number of cases rose to 7,253. The number of sexually transmitted diseases was reported to be 398,000, a rise of 12 percent.
––"China Says Up to 200,000 Chinese Infected with AIDS Virus," Associated Press, 13 November 1997; in Lexis-Nexus Academic Universe, 13 November 1997,

14 November 1997
Guangdong providence established the Guangdong Provincial AIDS Prevention Association in order to promote HIV/AIDS education and awareness. Since its first HIV cases was discovered in 1986, Guangdong has reported 261 HIV cases, of which 26  developed AIDS.  In the first 10 months of 1997, health officials have discovered 73 HIV cases, 36 are local residents and 29 come from outside Guangdong province. Health officials reported some 90,000 cases of sexually transmitted diseases.
––"China: AIDS Cases Increase in Guangdong," China Daily, 14 November 1997, p. 3.

17 November 1997
During the National Meeting for Communicable Disease Control, Yunnan health officials announced the province government will earmark seven million yuan (843,000 USD) to establish a three-tier HIV/AIDS control and prevention network which will link the Kunming with each prefecture and county in Yunnan. "The network, due to be completed next year, will be responsible for carrying out publicity and educational programs, conducting blood testing and making epidemic surveillance. It will also have some clinics to provide medical treatment for patients with HIV/AIDS," reported China Daily. Yunnan has 4,421 HIV/AIDS cases, of which 91 percent contracted AIDS through intravenous drug use. Of the HIV cases, 98 have developed AIDS and 84 have died.  Some 70 percent of counties in Yunnan have reported HIV/AIDS cases. To date, Yunnan has tested more than 457,000 for HIV/AIDS, and spent more than 14 million yuan (1.6 million USD) on AIDS education and awareness programs. International organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and United National Development Program (UNDP) have provided 1.6 million USD to help train health officials and workers at all levels.
––"China: Steps Taken to Harness Wild AIDS," China Daily, 17 November 1997, p. 3; "China's Yunnan Province Launches New AIDS Battle," Agence France Presse, 17 November 1997;  in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 17 November 1997,

18 November 1997
Chen Xianyi, Deputy Director of the Diseases Control Department with the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced the drafting of new legislation to "control the spread of major communicable diseases which pose a considerable threat to public health," such as HIV/AIDS, reported China Daily.  New regulations will also be drafted specifically on HIV/AIDS control and prevention, health quarantine on domestic travel and the disinfection of medical facilities.
––"China: Rules Set to Curb Epidemic Diseases," China Daily, 18 November 1997, p. 2.

19 November 1997
The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced China's officially-confirmed cases of HIV have risen to 8,277 as of the end of September, of which 168 had developed full-blown AIDS and 77.5 percent were drug users. From January 1997 to September, 2,237 new HIV cases have been found.  Since May, the number of cases has risen by 1,918, a 30 percent increase. According to Wang Zhao, Director of the Ministry of Health's Disease Control Department, AIDS in China has entered a third stage since 1994. "It started among the transient population and paid blood donors in central parts of China, and spread among drug users in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Sichuan Province last year," reported Xinhua.  HIV cases have been confirmed in 21 of China's 31 provinces and regions.
––"AIDS Cases in China Increasing," Xinhua, 19 November 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 19 November 1997,; "Number of AIDS Cases Rises 30 Percent in China," Agence France Presse, 20 November 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 20 November 1997,

23 November 1997
Chinese Health officials will pass out venereal disease and HIV/AIDS prevention leaflets to train passengers on the Beijing-Kowloon line.  Officials will also pass out children's health pamphlets. Videos and exhibitions will be held on the train, as well as at stations along the route. Although the number of mother-infant transmission is low in China, the number of cases is on the rise. China's first recorded mother-infant HIV transmission case was reported in 1995.
––"AIDS Education Campaign Among Children," Xinhua, 23 November 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 23 November 1997,

27 November 1997
A report released by the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine (CAPM) said the sharp increase in HIV/AIDS cases is because of the increase in sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and drug abuse. "The infection rate of human immune deficiency virus (HIV) which leads to AIDS, among sexually active people and drug abusers, has been rising over the past year. The CAPM national surveillance and monitoring network reported out of 21 stations for monitoring patients visiting STD clinics, three stations found people infected with HIV in the first six months of this year, compared to only one in 1996. Of 16 stations monitoring prostitutes, four women tested positive this year, none were reported last year. Some 187,000 STD cases were reported in the first half of this year, a 12.5 percent increase. "China is facing a great risk on an AIDS epidemic because of the rapid spread of STDs, since the majority of prostitutes in China fail to take protective measure, such as using condoms," the report warned.

The AIDS epidemic is rising among the intravenous drug user population in Yunnan and Xinjiang. Some 40 to 60 percent of HIV cases in China are related to drug use. Out of the 12 stations monitoring drug addicts, seven were found have HIV this year, compared to three last year. China's HIV infection cases have reached 8,277 by the end of September, of which 168 have developed AIDS.
––"Sexual Diseases, Drug Abuse Blamed for HIV/AIDS Increase," Xinhua, 27 November 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 27 November 1997,

30 November 1997
Xinhua reported that the Chinese Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine will begin a new study on the benefits of Chinese herbal medicine on AIDS patients. "Now we need to conduct more scientific and objective appraisal on the curative effects on AIDS of traditional Chinese medicine," said Guan Chongfen, Head of Immunological Research at the Chinese Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine. "Compared with Western medical treatment that focuses on attacking HIV, traditional Chinese medicine focuses on improving the patient's immunity to block the virus."  The program will divide HIV patients into two groups: one will be treated with Chinese herbs, and the other will be treated with AZT. 
––"China Launches New Assault on AIDS with Traditional Medicine," Agence France Presse, 30 November 1997; in Lexis-Nexis. Academic Universe, 30 November 1997,

1 December 1997
Health Minister Chen Minzhang said China needs to increase AIDS education and awareness among Chinese children.  According to Chen, 10 percent of Chinese confirmed HIV cases are under the age of 18, the majority of which contracted HIV through needle sharing.  He said, "Children in our country also face the dreary situation of HIV infections." He added, "We should give adolescents enough knowledge about AIDS prevention as early as possible through community, school and family efforts."  Zhang Xin, in charge of Hygiene and Health Education said, "We've asked middle schools to make students aware of sex, HIV/AIDS, and STDs. Universities and colleges are also required to improve sex ethics education. Most of the colleges and universities are doing this job, and we plan to conduct the same activities in middle schools gradually," he said.
––"Chinese Health Officials Say Children Need HIV Protection," Xinhua, 1 December 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 1 December  1997,

2 December 1997
Beijing Vice-Mayor Lin Wenyi reported only eight new HIV cases have been reported this year in Beijing. Since 1985, Beijing has reported 189 cases of HIV infections, of which 59 are foreigners, 75 non-Beijing residents, and 55 local residents. The first mother-infant transmission, and drug related HIV transmission were also reported this year. Among the newly reported cases, the infection rate among gay men is increasing, reported Beijing Daily.
––"Beijing Successful in Controlling Spread of AIDS," Xinhua, 2 December 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 2 December  1997,

10 December 1997
Liu Kangmai, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine told a conference on HIV/AIDS in China that the mass media can play an important role in China AIDS education and awareness drive by increasing HIV/AIDS awareness information to the public.  In a recent survey conducted in Qingdao, Shandong province, some 74 percent of people were correctly able to answer questions about HIV/AIDS  after local newspapers, TV, and radio increased their coverage of AIDS by 18 percent. Sales of condoms increased 55 percent, and books about AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases increased 49 percent. In the 15 provinces where China's HIV rate is the highest, media coverage reaches 80 to 100 percent of the population, Liu said.  Next year the Ministry of Health will request that national and local media broadcast AIDS prevention programming as a public service for free.
––"Media Urged to Join AIDS Prevention Crusade in China," Xinhua, 10 December 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 10 December 1997,

11 December 1997
A recent survey conduced by a sociological research institute under the People's University in Beijing showed some 93 percent of Chinese university and college students know that sharing intravenous needles and having sex without condoms are methods of HIV transmission. It also revealed 60 percent of students know HIV could be transmitted through blood transfusion, and 75 percent said they need to know more about AIDS.  The survey was made among 3,000 college and university students. Another survey conducted in Beijing, Shanghai and six other major cities found almost all students know HIV/AIDS is an infectious disease, and only nine percent think AIDS is curable. Zhang Xin, Secretary in charge of Health Education said, "We've asked the schools to carry out sex education more widely among students in order to prevent HIV/AIDS from invading into the campus."
––"Surveys Show Chinese College Students Know More About HIV/AIDS," Xinhua, 11 December 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 11 December 1997,

14 December 1997
A survey conducted in eight major Chinese cities showed that 80 percent of Chinese prefer giving teenagers an early education on sex.  Chinese researchers believe that China's rapid development and opening up has left the Chinese youth unprepared. "Therefore, there is a need for giving them an early education on sex to help them build up a health awareness of sex, and avoid sexual diseases and HIV/AIDS," reported Xinhua. A study run by the Yunnan Provincial Academy of Social Science showed that students as young as 12 were able to make the correct choices regarding sexual health if sex education started at an early age. Currently, sex education is only mandatory in colleges and universities. Xiao Yan, an official with the Ministry of Health (MOH) said, "We hope that the earlier children receive an education on sex, the better."
––"Majority of Chinese Favor Early Education on Sex," Xinhua, 14 December 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 14 December 1997,

17 December 1997
A survey conducted by the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine found that 60 percent of doctors in eight Chinese cities believe AIDS could be transmitted by "sharing bowls and chopsticks," reported the Beijing Youth Daily.  Furthermore, the survey showed 70 percent of common people held the same belief. It also found one in three people surveyed, and one in six doctors, believed AIDS could be transmitted through a handshake.
––"Survey Finds Chinese Doctors Uninformed About AIDS," Associated Press, 17 December 1997; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 17 December 1997,

9 January 1998
While speaking at an international donor's meeting on HIV/AIDS control in China, Liu Peilong, Director of the Department of International Cooperation under the Ministry of Health (MOH), said that funding and technical support from overseas governments and organizations will enable China to implement more than one hundred AIDS awareness programs.  These programs include establishing an HIV/AIDS Internet Information Center, promoting condom use among China's high risk population and publishing material about sex education for Chinese school children.  "The programs will undoubtedly help China curb the HIV/AIDS epidemic. However, the major problem centers on the lack of technology and capital," said Liu. He said the goal of the meeting was to "strengthen the international community's awareness of the HIV/AIDS situation in China and promote greater participation in control efforts," and to "ensure all possible international support will be forthcoming," according to Arthur Holcombe, resident coordinator of UN Operation activities in China.
––“New HIV/AIDS Intervention Measures Gain International Support," Xinhua, 9 January 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 31 October 1997,

9 January 1998
China reported 8,303 HIV cases by the end of October 1997, of which 209 have developed AIDS and 119 patients have died. "The spread of HIV/AIDS entered into a period of rapid growth, namely HIV infections resulting from sexual activity and contact with contaminated blood, as well as infant HIV infection," said Health Minister Chen Minzhang. Ministry of Health (MOH) statistics showed 5,495 cases involved intravenous drug use, 547 cases resulted from sexual heterosexual contact, and homosexual sex and the use of tainted blood products make up a small number.  The ratio of male to female HIV victims stands at 5:1. HIV patients in the age group between 20-39 account for 78 percent of all victims. Officials estimated there are up to 200,000 HIV cases in China, which could reach one million by 2000, and 10 million by the year 2010.  "The multiple use of needles and the growth of prostitution have emerged as two major risks raising the possibility of an outbreak of HIV/AIDS in China," Health Officials noted.

Wang Zhao, Director of the MOH Diease Control Department listed several goals set forth in the Medium and Long Term Plan for AIDS and STD Control in China (1997-2010):

  • work hard to control the epidemic level at under 1.5 million cases during the next 12 years
  • halt HIV transmissions through blood transfusions by 2000
  • control and reduce drug abuse
  • control and reduce annual STD rates.

The plan was drafted by the State Planning Commission, the State Science and Technology Commission, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health.
––"China Published HIV/AIDS Figures," Xinhua, 9 January 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 9 January 1998,

12 January 1998
United Nations (UN) officials warned that China could have over 10 million HIV/AIDS cases by 2010 unless effective measures are taken. Arthur Holcombe, resident coordinator of UN operations in China said, "The situation in China is potentially very serious, and HIV/AIDS infections could rise to more than 10 million by 2010 unless strong counter measures are now taken."  China has 8,303 registered HIV cases, of which 209 have developed AIDS and 119 have died. Experts believe the number of HIV/AIDS cases could be as high as 150,000 to 200,000.
––"China Could Face 10 Million AIDS Cases by 2010, UN Warns," Asia Pulse, 12 January 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 12 January 1998,

14 January 1998
Sun Jiangping, Deputy Director of Beijing Medical University's Children's Health Research Institute announced Chinese health workers will distribute information on sex and HIV/AIDS to middle school teachers starting this September. Because of the nature of AIDS, school can play an important role in teaching young Chinese to avoid high risk behavior.
––"China Preparing AIDS Information Booklet for Young People," Xinhua, 14 January 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 14 January 1998,

28 January 1998
The Changchun Institute of Biological Products in Jilin Province reported that test conducted on 51 batches of albumin, 63 batches of immune globulin, 40 batches of hepatitis B vaccine, and 2 batches of factor VIII vaccine were all negative of the HIV/AIDS virus. Pre-donation physicals were conducted on Changchun blood donors and all “proved they are free of the AIDS virus.”
––“Changchun’s Blood Products Free from AIDS Virus,” Xinhua, 28 January 1988; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 28 January 1998,

6 February 1998
China Daily listed some of the aid provided by international organizations:

  • The World Bank and the Ministry of Health (MOH) have recently drawn up new plans relating to the control of HIV/AIDS and STDs. Since the early 1990s, the World Bank has funded several AIDS projects in China.
  • Since 1993, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has granted more than 2.9 million USD for programs aimed at reducing HIV infection rates.
  • The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has contributed HIV/AIDS awareness programs focusing on women and children.
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has supported teacher-training on HIV/AIDS.
  • The World Bank has given substantial amounts of funds to support HIV/AIDS prevention and control activities.
  • The European Union (EU), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and the Ford Foundation have help China in addressing HIV/AIDS in some "sensitive areas."

––“China Global Bodies Help AIDS Fight," Xinhua, 6 February 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 6 February 1998,

22 February 1998
The China Association for the Control of AIDS and Sexually-Transmitted Diseases (STDs) has opened China's first 24-hour HIV/AIDS Hotline.  "The hotline's host will be a computer-controlled voice-simulator for which telephone callers only need to press buttons to get answers," reported Xinhua. All of China's provinces and regions now have AIDS hotlines which are staffed by medical experts. "All relevant topics maybe discussed between callers and the hotline staff, such as homosexuality, the nature of AIDS, and how to avoid and cure STDs," said a volunteer staff member.
––"China to open First Round-the-Clock AIDS Hotline," Xinhua, 22 February 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 22 February 1998,

23 March 1998
China and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will launch a program next month aimed at promoting reproductive health and family planning among women in rural China. The program is China's response to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) which was held in Cairo in 1994, said Cong Jun, Department Director in charge of international cooperation with the State Family Planning Commission. "The ICPD program called upon all nations to provide high-quality reproductive health services for couples of reproductive age and to integrate family planning activities with information on preventing sexual diseases such as infections of the reproductive system and HIV/AIDS," reported China Daily. The UNFPA will provide a 14 million USD grant for the project, which will be completed by the year 2000.

In addition to the UNFPA project, the State Family Panning Commission and the World Health Organization have set up a three year program to develop China's capacity to produce new types of contraceptives, including condoms, and carry out training for healthcare professionals.
––“China Plan to Aid Rural Women; UN Will Provide US $14 million," China Daily, 23 March 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 23 March 1998,

10 April 1998
China shared its AIDS control and prevention experiences at an international AIDS conference in Windhoek, Namibia. Gu Angran, a member of China's delegation said the conference focused on introducing legislation, enhancing monitoring and treatment of AIDS, reinforcing blood control, strengthening the fight against drug trafficking and promoting medical research and national AIDS awareness.
––“China Shares Experience in AIDS Control," Xinhua, 10 April 1998; in Lexis-Nexis. Academic Universe, 23 March 1998,

4 May 1998
Chinese Vice-Premier Li Lanqing met with Peter Piot, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). This is Piot's first trip to China since he became executive director in 1996.  During his stay in Beijing, Piot said that China's "floating population" will be a main obstacle in fighting AIDS in China. He said, "The number of infected people is still fairly low for a huge country like China. But what is important is to see what is the vulnerability of the population, with millions and millions of so-called floating populations migrating in the country with the very rapid economic and urban development."
––“Chinese Vice-Premier Meet UN Official," Xinhua, 4 May 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 4 May 1998,; "China's Transient Population AIDS Risk- UN Official," APP Newsfeed, 9 May 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 9 May 1998,

6 May 1998
Health Minister Zhang Wenkang presented an update on the HIV/AIDS situation in China to a executive meeting of the State Council, headed by Premier Zhu Rongji. He stated that the AIDS situation in China is becoming more serious and that the government at all levels should increase their efforts to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS to the general population.
––"State Council Meeting Hears Reports on Ecology, AIDS," Xinhua, 6 May 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 6 May 1998,

6 May 1998
Vice-Minister of Health Sun Longchun presented awards to middle school students who wrote the best essay on HIV/AIDS. Some 582 participants from 29 provinces and regions participated, and 155 received awards.  Citing the 600 posters and essays presented, Sun said based on the entries here today, more work needs to be done on education and awareness. "We've learned form the participant's work that a great number of youngsters still know little about HIV/AIDS. Promoting health awareness among them is an urgent matter," Sun said. According to a 1997 survey of middle school students, some 60 percent know nothing about  the "basic knowledge of HIV/AIDS," and 21 percent about HIV prevention.  To date China has recorded 9,970 HIV cases at the end of March, of which 290 had developed AIDS, and 173 have died. "The increase in the number of HIV cases related to intravenous drug use and sexual contacts indicated a critical HIV epidemic in China," Sun said.
––"Number of HIV/AIDS Patients in China Continues to Rise," Xinhua, 6 May 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 22 February 1998,

20 May 1998
The Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine announced that the National Center for AIDS Prevention and Control will be established at the Academy later this year.  It will be responsible for AIDS Surveillance, epidemiological research, and the development of vaccines and drugs. The Center will be divided into two departments, the Epidemiology Department and the National AIDS Reference Laboratory.  Wang Ke'an said, "This is a very positive gesture by the government..."  The Center will be a member of the global network of UNAIDS.
––"China to Set Up National AIDS Control Center," Xinhua, 20 May 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 20 May  1998,; Daniel Kwan, "National Center for AIDS Set Up," South China Morning Post, 21 May 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 21 May 1998,

6 June 1998
A 18-year-old male repeat blood donor tested positive for HIV in Shanxi province reported the Beijing Youth Daily.  The youth sold his blood some 40 times since 1996, and then spent his earnings in nightclubs on prostitutes. The Ministry of Health (MOH) said the boy sold his blood to a local "blood head." "Right now we cannot tell how many people have sold blood and if some of them were also infected with HIV during the blood transmission," MOH officials said.  Of Shanxi's 134 confirmed HIV carriers, 132 have been infected through blood transfusions. The report stated that the Beijing Red Cross and other legal  blood donor centers follow the 1994 blood collection regulations, and follow safe collection practices when collecting plasma. However, "in order to cut costs, some illegal (blood collection) stations transfuse mixed red cells, from many donors, back to each individual donor, making it very likely to spread infections," the report wrote.
––Jasper Becker, "AIDS Fear as Virus Carrier Sells Blood," South China Morning Post, 6 June 1998, p. 9; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 6 June 1998,; Owen Brown, "Tainted Blood Sparks China AIDS Fear," Australian Associated Press, 11 June 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 11 June 1998,

30 June 1998
During the 12th World AIDS Conference being held in Geneva, Chinese Vice-Health Minister Yin Dakui said "provided that HIV prevalence among the adult population in China can be kept below 0.2 percent, the best achievable target by 2010 is to keep the number of HIV infections below 1.5 million."  He also announced the main objectives of the recently passed Medium and Long Term Plan for the Prevention and Control of AIDS (1998-2010):

  • The long term objective to keep the HIV rate at a low level in the context of the global infection rate
  • The medium objectives for HIV preventions and control by 2002 are to halt the transmission of HIV through the blood supply; control the spread of HIV through the intravenous drug user population; and reduce the STD rate to fewer than 15 percent.

The goal of prevention and control is to spread  awareness and prevention information throughout the Chinese population by using all forms of media. China's high schools and universities should incorporated AIDS awareness courses, and condom promotion should be encouraged where applicable.

From 1985 to March 1998, more than 10 million people have been tested for the AIDS virus. Some 9,970 HIV cases were reported in 30 provinces, of which 290 have developed AIDS and 173 people have died.  The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported some 36.3 percent of HIV infections are concentrated in China's minority population, and intravenous drug users account for 66.9 percent of all infections. However, the proportion of sexual transmission is rising annually.

Since 1987, China has reportedly spent 5.6 million USD on HIV/AIDS prevention.  In 1987 the Chinese government established a special fund for HIV/AIDS prevention and control. According to Yin, from 1987 to 1994 China spent 1.3 million USD, from 1995 to 1997 China spent 4.28 million USD on AIDS prevention and control.  The total amount of aid from international organizations totaled 17.4 million USD up to 1996.
––“China Aims to Keep HIV Infections Below 1.5 million by 2010," Xinhua, 30 June 1998; in Lexis-Nexis. Academic Universe, 30 June 1998,; "China Spends Nearly 5.6 Million USD on HIV/AIDS Prevention," Xinhua, 30 June 1998; in Lexis-Nexis. Academic Universe, 30 June  1998,

12 July 1998
According to a recent survey on female reproductive health conducted by the State Family Planning Commission, some 57 percent of women of child-bearing age "expressed knowledge of venereal diseases and sexually transmitted diseases, with 63.5 percent expressing an awareness of AIDS." Most of the 16,000 respondents got their information from radio and television program, as well as, family members, newspapers and magazines.
––"Chinese Women Concerned About Reproductive Health," Xinhua, 12 July 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 12 July 1998,

14 July 1998
China Daily reported that a person contracted the HIV virus from a commercial blood donor in Linfen prefecture, Shanxi province. The patient was admitted to Linfen No. 2 Hospital when the doctors advised him to receive a blood transfusion because anemia. The doctors of the hospital said the family would have to provide and pay for the blood themselves. The patient's family was referred to a middleman, who was able to find a 17-year-old commercial blood donor to sell 1,350 cc for 600 yuan (about 76 USD).  The patient later tested positive for HIV and subsequently the donor also tested positive. The hospital was forced to compensate the patient's family 126,000 yuan (15,000 USD) and the doctors and middleman were prosecuted. The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirms that blood transmission is the primary cause of HIV infections in Shanxi province. There are three methods of blood collection in China: selling, obligatory donation and voluntary donation.  Blood collected through voluntary donations account for only 10 percent of the total supply for clinical use, 40 percent comes from obligatory donation and the rest from professional donors. Shanxi reported its first HIV cases in 1995.
––"China AIDS Found in Shanxi Blood Bank," Xinhua, 14 July 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 14 July 1998,

29 July 1998
The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced the total number of reported HIV cases has reached 10,676 cases by the end of June, of which 301 have developed AIDS. Also, Qinghai province, "the nation's last AIDS-free province" has reported its first HIV case. Xiao Yan, an official with the MOH said, "The true number may have reached 300,000."  Experts blamed rampant drug use and prostitution for the rapid rise in HIV/AIDS cases.
––"All Chinese Provinces Report HIV/AIDS Cases," Xinhua, 29 July 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 29 July 1998,

6 August 1998
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported it will increase its current funding for health projects in China by 1.5 million USD over the next two years. Currently, China has received a total of 14 million USD from the WHO for the period of 1998-99.  The funding will be used for improvements in primary and community healthcare. In the context of HIV/AIDS, "work will be carried out in Hunan province and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to prevent HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and to build health education schools.
––“WHO to Increase Technical Assistance," Xinhua, 6 August 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 6 August 1998,

18 August 1998
Beijing health officials reported since 1985 the total number of HIV cases has risen to 241, of which 33 have developed full-blown AIDS. Beijing currently has three hospitals with 2,000 beds for AIDS and STD patients. Officially, the number of HIV patients in China has reached 10,676 in all 31 provinces, regions and municipalities.
––"Beijing's Number of HIV Infections Totals," Xinhua, 18 August 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 18 August 1998,

23 September 1998
While addressing delegates to the World AIDS Conference in Beijing, Vice-Minister of Health Yin Dakui announced the total number of HIV cases in China has risen to 10,676, almost 30 percent from 1997. The Ministry of Health (MOH) also reported that there are 301 confirmed cases of AIDS, and an estimated 200,000 HIV cases in China. Intravenous drug users account for nearly two-thirds of confirmed HIV cases. The number of registered drug users has risen from 148,000 in 1991 to 540,000 in 1997. Sexual transmission has increased 15 percent from 1996 to 1997, and 40 percent in the first six months of this year.
––"Known Cases of HIV Show 30 Pct Increase," South China Morning Post, 23 September 1998, p. 8; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 23 September 1998,

1 October 1998
China's first law regarding blood donation became effective today. The law "lays down the rights and duties of Chinese citizens relating to the donation and use of blood as well as standardizing the practices of blood collection and supply institutes," reported China Daily.  China currently requires 800 tons of blood annually for medical use. 

Shenzhen began promoting voluntary blood donation in 1993. Before 1993, all blood for medical use came from professional donors and only 30 percent met standards. In 1995 Shenzhen passed China's first blood donation regulation and blood management, emphasizing the duty of blood donation and right to use blood. The amount of people donating blood in Shenzhen rose from 249 in 1994 to 34,000 in 1997. Some 79 percent of all blood for clinical use now comes from donated blood, with 90 percent being up to standard.
––"Blood Law Set for Implementing; Voluntary Donors to be Target," China Daily, 22 September 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 22 September 1998,

6 November 1998
Shen Jie, an official with the Ministry of Health announced the medium and long-term program to control HIV/AIDS will be released in about a month. The MOH also reports there are 11,170 confirmed cases of HIV, of which 338 have developed full-blown AIDS and 184 have died. Most confirmed cases are reported to be farmers who live in Yunnan and Henan provinces, and Xinjiang and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous regions. Some 80 percent of patients are males between 20 and 40 years old, with 9.6 percent under the age of 20. It is reported 68 percent of HIV/AIDS victims were infected through intravenous drug use, 7 percent through heterosexual contact and others through homosexual sex, and the use of contaminated blood or blood products. Some have reported mother to infant transmissions.  MOH officials also report the number of STD cases at the end of 1997 to be at 461,510, a 15.8 percent increase from 1996.  Cases in the first six months of 1997 have risen 40.5 percent compared to the same period last year. Chinese officials estimate the number of HIV cases to be at 300,000, while the United Nations (UN) believes the number stands at 400,000.
––"Long Term Program Worked Out  - AIDS Spread a Major Concern," China Daily, 6 November 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 6 November 1998,; "National Response to AIDS Unveiled," China Daily, 2 December 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 2 December 1998,

30 November 1998
China officially released its Medium and Long-term Program of AIDS Prevention and Control (1998-2010). The plan aims to keep the number of China's HIV infections to under 1.5 million by the year 2010. The Chinese government blames the cross-border transmission of HIV/AIDS in its southwest region where there is a large floating population, wide-spread drug use, and prostitution, for China's AIDS problem.
––"China Announces 12-year Program of AIDS Control," Xinhua, 30 November 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 30 November 1998,

1 December 1998
Beijing Municipal Bureau of Public Health reported there are 285 HIV cases, of which 96 have been diagnosed this year, nearly three times from 1997.  Of Beijing's HIV/AIDS cases some 285 are Beijing residents, 115 from other Chinese provinces and 65 are foreigners.  The three modes of transmission are intravenous injections, sexual contact and mother to infant. More than 80 percent of the HIV cases are males between the ages of 20 and 40 years old. "The carriers are from nearly every walk of life, including waiters, and waitresses, college students, performers, workers, officials, doctors, businessmen and teachers," reported Xinhua.
––"285 HIV Carriers Found In Beijing," Xinhua, 1 December 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 1 December 1998,

1 December 1998
A recent survey of 7,425 students in south China showed more than 50 percent did not know the three main channels of HIV infection -- blood and blood products, sexual intercourse and mother-to-baby. More than 65 percent could believed they tell if someone is HIV positive by their appearance, and only 10 percent would be willing to study in the same room with another student who was infected with the AIDS virus, reported China Daily. The survey was conducted by the Children and Youth Health Research Institute.
––"Half of China's Teenagers Alarmingly Ignorant about AIDS: Survey," Agence France Presse, 1 December 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 1 December 1998,

2 December 1998
The number of people in Guangdong province infected with the AIDS virus jumped to 402 people in 17 cities. Of the 100 HIV cases that were discovered this year, 52 were Guangdong residents, 39 were from outside Guangdong province and nine were foreigners. Of these 100 cases, nine have developed AIDS and one has died.
––"More AIDS Victims in South Chinese Province," Xinhua, 2 December 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 1 December 1998,

2 December 1998
Since the "peer education" program was first established in 1994 by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Australian Red Cross Society and the Red Cross Society of China, it has trained more than 1,600 core members and has expanded its program originally in Yunnan province to Fujian, Jilin, and Hainan provinces, as well as Xinjiang and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regions.
––"Peer Education Plan for Disease," China Daily, 2 December 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 2 December 1998,

18 December 1998
Zhejiang health officials recently published its first official report on the AIDS situation in the province. Zhejiang reports its first AIDS case was in 1985 when a man contracted HIV through imported blood products he used to treat his hemophilia. To date, 95 people have contracted HIV, of which 10 have died of AIDS. Some 80 percent are below 30, HIV transmission via tainted blood is 45 percent and sexual contact transmission is 19.8 percent.  Local experts believe the actual number could be higher "because 90 percent of the victims who were discovered (carrying HIV) had never heard of the illness until they were found to be carrying the deadly virus," reported Xinhua.
––"Eastern Chinese Province Finding Ways to Prevent AIDS," Xinhua, 18 December 1998; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 18 December 1998,

1 January 1999
Ministry of Health (MOH) officials reported that 132 people have been infected through blood transfusions, while the number infected with syphilis and hepatitis B and C is even greater.  Even though the State Council passed the Blood Donation Law last October 1st, few believe it can be enforced. "In some areas, entire hamlets and townships have actually made their fortunes off selling blood. The professional blood donors include laid-off workers, part-time laborers, drug addicts, unlicensed prostitutes, and homeless people -- groups at relatively high risk of blood-borne diseases," wrote the Financial Times Asia. Furthermore, some blood brokers can earn up to 600,000 yuan per year in agent fees acting as middle men for hospitals and pharmaceutical companies who request their services.
––"130 People Contract AIDS from Blood Transfusions," Financial Times, 1 January 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 1 January 1999,

4 January 1999
Health officials in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region reported a rapid increase in HIV cases. From only one HIV case two years ago, Guangxi now reports 700 confirmed cases. Most of those infected are unemployed and drug users with a male to female ratio of 7 to 1.
––"South China's Guangxi Region Reports Escalating HIV Infections," Xinhua, 4 January 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 4 January 1998,

6 January 1999
China opened its first HIV support group in Beijing's Ditan Hospital. Supported by the United Nations, the Red Ribbon Club aims to help educate people about HIV/AIDS and lessen discrimination and prevent misunderstanding. Lun Wenhui, a worker at the club said, "The club plans to play a role as a bridge between AIDS patients and the rest of society, since these patients still have difficulty trying to live a normal life." He continued, "HIV/AIDS isn't a simple medical problem, but a complicated social problem for China. Lots of virus carriers and patients suffer not only from the disease, but also from discrimination and isolation from society." Yu Keyi, an AIDS specialist at the Ditan Hospital said, "Chinese people who were previously conservative in their attitude to sex and thought of AIDS as a disease of other countries now realize AIDS has become a problem in China." As of last October, China has reported 11,170 HIV cases, of which 338 have developed AIDS. Last year 180 people had died from AIDS.
––"1st HIV Support Group Set Up in China," Kyodo New Service (Tokyo), 13 January 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 13 January 1999,; "China Sets up First AIDS Club," Agence France Presse, 7 January 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 7 January 1999,

9 January 1999
Glaxo Wellcome will build a 100 million USD manufacturing plant in Suzhou, Jiangsu province following China approval of lamivudine, an oral treatment for hepatitis B. Besides producing lamivudine, the plant will also produce antibiotics. Lamivudine, which is sold under the brand name Epivir for HIV patients, could earn Glaxo Wellcome additional sales of 250 - 300 million pounds as a hepatitis B treatment, half of which could come from China.
––“Glaxo Wellcome Builds 85 million pound Factory in China," Financial Times (London), 9 January 1999, p. 17; in Lexis-Nexis. Academic Universe, 9 January 1999,

11 January 1999
The Shanghai-based Wen Hui Daily reported as of last November 183 people have been found to have HIV in Shanghai. However, the paper warned the number could reach 16,000 by next year. The paper listed increasing prostitution, intravenous drug use, illegal blood collection, an increased of migrant workers now numbered at about three million and a general lack of awareness about self protection among the general population. A recent survey among Shanghai residents showed 33 percent did not know using a condom could help prevent the transmission of the AIDS virus, and 20 percent did not believe sharing needles helped spread the virus. Currently, an AIDS patient in China could expect to spend 12,000 yuan (1,440 USD) per year on medical treatments, while causing 200,000 yuan per year in indirect medical cost and economic losses. "Thus Shanghai could face a bill of 3.4 billion yuan (409.6 million USD) each year if HIV/AIDS cases reach 16,000," the paper reported.
––"Shanghai Fears Rapid AIDS Epidemic," Xinhua, 11 January 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 11 January 1999,; "Shanghai Put on AIDS Alert Amidst Explosion Warning," China Business Information Network," 12 January 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 12 January 1999,

29 January 1999
Sources at the Chinese Association of Prevention and Control of STDs and AIDS said  a nation-wide network including public health, family planning and the media will be established to promote AIDS prevention and awareness among China's estimated 120 million internal migrants. About 80 percent are laborers who migrate to urban areas in search of seasonal jobs. "If we do not pay more attention to controlling the spread of the disease, particularly in floating populations, cases will hit 1.2 million in 2000," warned Chen Xianyi, Deputy Director of the Department for Disease Control of the Ministry of Health (MOH). MOH officials reported at the end of 1998, China had recorded 12,580 HIV cases, of which 439 had developed AIDS and 337 had died. Officials estimate there are 300,000 HIV carries in China.
––"Transients Susceptible to HIV/AIDS," China Daily, 29 January 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 29 January 1999,

3 February 1999
Beijing health officials announced the drafting of a 10-year working program to monitor and keep the amount of HIV cases in Beijing under 30,000 by the year 2010. By 2010, Beijing city officials expect 80 percent of city residents and 50 percent of rural residents to know about HIV/AIDS prevention and control. Furthermore, city health officials will target the 2.85 million migrant workers in Beijing for AIDS awareness and prevention. Official statistics show that 64.5 percent of Beijing's floating population is people aged between 15 and 39.  As of 1 December 1998, Beijing has recorded 285 HIV cases, of which 105 were Beijing residents, 115 were from outside Beijing and 65 were foreigners. Over the past few years, HIV cases in Beijing rose 20-40 cases annually, however, last year health officials reported 96 case were found. In the past 10 years Beijing has invested over 8.8 million yuan (1 million USD) to prevent and control AIDS, as well as set up 37 HIV/AIDS laboratories.
––"Capital to Increase AIDS Prevention Program," China Daily, 3 February 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 3 February 1999,

19 March 1999
While addressing an international conference on HIV/AIDS in Bangkok, Thailand, Shao Yiming, Deputy Director of China's National Center for AIDS Prevention and Control (NCAIDS) reports about 75 percent of China's HIV/AIDS cases are located in Yunnan province. He said, "The main reason is because it (Yunnan) is very close to the Golden Triangle and there is a lot of drug trafficking into China through this province."  About 70 percent of China HIV/AIDS cases are related to intravenous drug use.
––“Yunnan Province Accounts for 75 Percent of Chinese HIV Cases," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 19 March 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 19 March 1999,

27 April 1999
Calypte Biomedical Corporation will provide urine HIV tests to the Chinese National Center for AIDS Prevention and Control. This test is the only non-invasive HIV test used in China.  The center and Hua Ai Company plan to create a joint venture with Calypte and produce the test in China.
––“Calypte Biomedical Corp. to Provide non-invasive HIV Test to Chinese National Center for AIDS Prevention and Control," Chemical Business News, 27 April 1999; in Lexis-Nexis. Academic Universe, 27 April 1999,

4 May 1999
Funded by Save the Children, Tibet will launch a program to train local healthcare workers on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Furthermore, the Untied Nations' Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Tibet will host a series of public activities to promote AIDS awareness among the general population of Tibet. To date, Tibet has reported no HIV/AIDS cases, but two foreign tourists were refused entry into Tibet after testing positive for HIV.
––"Tibet to Publicize AIDS Prevention Knowledge," Xinhua, 4 May 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 4 May 1999,

5 May 1999
The World Bank has approved a 10 million USD loan and a credit of 50 million USD to fund China's Health Nine Project. This project has two components. The first part focuses on material health and child developments in China's poorest regions. The second component aims to prevent and control sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS in four of China's high-risk provinces. It will "implement comprehensive and multi-sectional public health policies and programs" on the local level, we well as "build technical and management capacities at the central level." The second component will also promote the involvement of non-governmental organizations.
––“World Bank Helps China Address Health Needs," Xinhua, 5 May 1999;  in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 5 May 1999,

21 May 1999
The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced new a regulation on the rights of patients who have been infected with HIV/AIDS.  The new regulation provides the following rights for HIV/AIDS patients:

  • No organization or individual can reveal the identity or address of an HIV/AIDS patient.
  • Medical personnel are required to keep the patient's medical information confidential, and all samples should be sent to a laboratory for confirmation.
  • Lab staff must notify the patient or relative of the results.
  • Lab results are considered personal and are protected under China's civil law.
  • Medical documents belonging to HIV/AIDS patients are considered confidential and are only to be handled by assigned personnel.
  • All public health departments should assign medical facilities to provide treatment for HIV/AIDS patients.
  • No medical facility shall refuse medical treatment to HIV/AIDS patients who are citizens of China and thus entitled to medical and healthcare.
  • HIV carriers and their children should not be deprived of their right to work, study or participate in social activities.
  • HIV carriers can apply to get married, provided both bride and groom have received medical consultations.
  • HIV carriers are not allowed to donate blood, organs or other body fluids. HIV carriers who intentionally infect others will be prosecuted.
  • If the person has developed AIDS, he or she will not be allowed to marry. According to China's Marriage Law, one cannot marry if the man or women suffers from a disease which can be passed on to an unborn child.

––"Regulation Protects HIV Carriers and AIDS Patients," China Daily, 21 May 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 21 May 1999,

27 May 1999
The National Center for AIDS Prevention and Control (NCAIDS) and Beijing's Ditan Hospital announced it will begin administering "cocktail therapy" to 18 HIV patients starting in June and 12 others later this year. The State Drug Administration (SDA) approved the drug even though they did not undergo long-term clinical trial because the effectiveness was confirmed and the urgent needs of China's HIV/AIDS patients. Cao Yunzhen, Deputy Director of NCAIDS said, "It has become very urgent to provide proper and effective treatment against HIV/AIDS in China since the epidemic situation is getting serious." The cost of the therapy is expected to reach 100,000 yuan per year (12,000 USD) which most Chinese cannot afford.  Cao continued, "The money is the biggest problem. But we're making every effort to help patients, whether through raising funds by patients themselves or asking help from pharmaceutical companies and charity groups."
––"AIDS Patients in China to Receive Cocktail Therapy," Xinhua, 27 May 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 27 May 1999,

18 June 1999
A new program to teach first year university students has been popularized on campuses in Beijing and Shanghai. Initiated last year by the Australia's Royal Women's Hospital, Beijing Medical University and Shanghai Second Medical University, the program has junior medical students teach their freshman peers on safe sex and AIDS prevention.  Usually, Chinese educational practices have the teacher lecture to the students, however this program allows for teacher - student interaction. For example, an instructor may have a shy student blow up a condom to become comfortable handling the common contraceptive device.  Last year the program reached 17,000 students at eight universities and 4,000 residents in Beijing and Shanghai. This year, the program will expand to eight other universities in two additional cities. Durex, Schering and Organon condom manufactures have been sponsoring the program. Of China's HIV population, 65.5 percent are between the ages of 16 and 29 years old.
––"New Program Used to Teach About AIDS," China Daily, 18 June 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 18 June 1999,

6 July 1999
During a two-day conference on political and security implication for ASEAN in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen stated strengthening regional cooperation is extremely important because it offers three opportunities:

  • It will help resolve outstanding issues of common concern.
  • It will provide opportunities for joint development projects in the GMS.
  • It will allow participating countries to act jointly to meet common needs.

Some of the current problems facing the sub-region are migration, illegal arms trade, cross-border trade, smuggling, pollution and the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS.  The GMS includes Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and China's Yunnan province.
––“Cambodia Stresses Importance of Regional Cooperation," Xinhua, 6 July 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 6 July 1999,

9 July 1999
The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported the estimated number of HIV cases has reached 400,000 reported Yangcheng Evening News. More than two-thirds of HIV victims live in the countryside and are drug users. Some 83 percent were men and more than 50 percent were in their twenties. The number of estimated infections only represents 0.03 percent of China's 1.2 billion population.
––"AIDS Cases in China Soar Past 400,000," Associated Press, 9 July 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 9 July 1999,

27 July 1999
The Disease Prevention and Control Branch of Sichuan province ordered HIV blood tests be mandatory during all premarital physical examinations.  The action follows the first female AIDS death this past June.  Sichuan has an estimated 6,000 HIV cases, of which 590 have developed AIDS and 14 have died.  Official statistics show that 75 percent of recent HIV cases are related to unsafe sex.
––"Measure to Curb Spread of AIDS," China Daily, 27 July 1999, p. 3; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 27 July 1999,

29 July 1999
Liu Xiaoming, the interim person in charge of China's embassy in the United States and Jean-Michel Severino, Vice-President of the World Bank, signed three loan agreements worth 330 million USD. One of the projects will be aimed at preventing and controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and improving healthcare for mothers and children in China's impoverished areas.
––“World Bank Funds Three New China Projects," China Online, 2 August 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 2 August  1999,

6 August 1999
The Beijing-based Health News reports that eight subtypes of the HIV-1 virus have been found in blood samples taken from 600 HIV/AIDS patients in 30 provinces. The eight sub-types include HIV-1 _ A, B, B', C, D, E, F and G.  Lab results show the following distribution:

  • Some 47.5 percent of the samples were sub-type B', a type transmitted from drug addicts in Thailand.
  • Some 34.3 percent were sub-type C, which originated from drug addicts in India.
  • And 9.6 percent were of sub-type E, which originated in southeast Asia.
  • HIV-1_B' is prevalent in all areas. sub-type C is concentrated among the intravenous drug users of Northwest China, Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan and is spreading to east and southeast China by the transient population from Xinjiang Autonomous Region. sub-type E is mostly found along China's southeastern coastal areas and border areas of southwestern China.
  • Returning laborers in the hinterland have sub-type A, D and G, which originated from Africa. sub-type F, which originated from South America, is found in Guangdong province.
  • Researchers show only 4.5 percent of the cases in Yunnan involve recomposed strains, but after the virus has entered the populations in Xinjiang via Sichuan, Gansu and Ningxia, all strains become recomposed.

China Daily reported it took five to six years for the rate of infection to reach 70 percent among Yunnan's drug users, but only two to three years in Xinjiang.  China currently has some 13,000 HIV/AIDS cases.
––"Type B' Found in All Area Eight HIV Strains Identified," China Daily, 6 August 1999, p. 2; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 6 August 1999,

11 August 1999
China is beginning to install the first 90 condom vending machines in public restrooms, subway stations and universities in Beijing and Shanghai. Previously, condoms were only available to married couples via prescription.
––Oliver August, "China's Sexual Revolution Leads to People's Condom," The Times (London), 11 August 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 11 August 1999,

16 August 1999
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Chinese Ministry for Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC) are planning to establish a new five-year plan (2001-2005) that will focus on child abduction, protection of girl's rights and the prevention of HIV/AIDS.  "Our plan may attach greater importance to the protection of abducted children and street children, and to health and education issues among the children of migrant peoples in cities," said Zhou Bing, MOFTEC program officer. "Through this (UNICEF's) cooperation, children's affairs have become a major part of the governmental agenda, and sustainable development in program areas has been promoted," added Zhou.
––"China, UNICEF Plan for New Five-Year Cooperation," Xinhua, 16 August 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 16 August 1999,

1 November 1999
An anti-AIDS group will provide HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention to railway passengers on the Beijing West Railway Station / Ulan Bator, Mongolia line. "I believe this campaign will play a positive role in quickly publicizing knowledge for AIDS prevention," said Health Vice-Minister Yin Dakui. The eight day tour is co-sponsored by the Mongolian government and China's Ministries of Health and Railways.
––"Anti-AIDS Tour Gets on Track," China Daily, 1 November 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 1 November 1999,

1 November 1999
A spokesperson from the Yunnan-Australia Red Cross HIV Prevention Project said the zero-tolerance for China's marginalized groups, such as sex workers and drug addicts, have made education and prevention more difficult for the increasing number of nongovernmental organizations in China. She said, "The government now openly acknowledges the threat of HIV but it will take time for it to realize there is a parallel universe out there, they have their cultural morals but there are people who live outside of those on the ground in China."  An official from the Disease Control Division of the Ministry of Health (MOH) said HIV carriers who are guilty of prostitution and illegal drug use are sent to "reform through labor camps." Also, she said "China is not capable of offering these people free syringes or condoms.  We cannot afford to give these things out for free."  However, she noted the state provide married couples with free condoms.  For these reasons, many people at risk for HIV infections do not come forward.  Many experts also believe that because of these reasons it is almost impossible to actually track the AIDS crisis in China solely on official statistics.
––"Prejudice the Basis for China's Looming AIDS Epidemic," Hobart Mercury (Australia), 1 November 1999;  in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 1 November 1999,

8 November 1999
China Daily profiles Shen (Gao) Yao Jie, a 72-year old gynecologist from Zhengzhou, Henan in her struggle to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, safe sex and the increasing number of  "quacks" that claim they can cure any STD for a high fee. After meeting her first AIDS patient in 1996, she began publishing  a monthly newsletter on AIDS, STD and Preventive Mean. She has already published more than 40,000 copies and she has absorbed the cost by using her own savings.
––"One Granny's Mission: Crusade Against AIDS," China Daily, 8 November 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 8 November 1999,

10 November 1999
The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported China has 15,088 confirmed cases of HIV, of which 477 have developed full-blown AIDS and 240 people have died. HIV cases have been reported in all 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. China estimates there are over 400,000 people now with HIV. The Beijing Evening News reported that the first three quarters of 1999 have seen a 33 percent increase in HIV cases compared to the same period last year. Some 58 percent of infected persons are in their 20s and there are five times as many infected men as women.

Health experts warn that sexual transmission is on the rise in China. Although most of China's HIV cases are drug related, over 75 percent of world-wide cases are sex related. "China will on be the same road (of sexual transmission) if rampant prostitution and the rising incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are not curbed," said Chen Xianyi, an official with the Ministry of Health (MOH).  In 1996, Chinese police arrested over 420,000 prostitutes, and their clients, but police report this only represents one tenth of the total number. Also in 1998, 630,000 STD patients were reported, an increase of 37 percent from 1997--still only one eighth the true figure.
––"Urgent Measure to Curb Transmission of AIDS," Xinhua, 10 November 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 10 November 1999,; "China's HIV Infection rate up 33%," China Online, 17 November 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 17 November 1999,; "Unsafe Sex May Worsen AIDS Epidemic in China," Xinhua, 15 November 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 15 November 1999,

18 November 1999
During an International AIDS Vaccine Symposium held in Beijing, the AIDS Prevention and Control Center under the Ministry of Health (MOH) signed an agreement with the Ellen Diamond AIDS Research Center of Rockefeller University (USA) to build a joint research laboratory.
––"Sino-US Joint Efforts AIDS Solution," China Daily, 30 November 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 30 November 1999,

24 November 1999
Chinese scientists will conduct the first AIDS vaccine trial in China next year if the application is approved, said Shao Yiming of the National Center for AIDS Prevention and Control.  The DNA-based AIDS vaccine has been developed by Chinese and German scientists.
––"Clinical Tests for AIDS Vaccines," China Daily, 24 November 1999, p. 4; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 24 November  1999,

28 November 1999
China's first condom advertisement debuted on China Central Television Channel One (CCTV-1). This 42 second public awareness ad is the first ever run by the Chinese mass media. "We hope the ad will raise public awareness about sexual health, as well as concern about the seriousness epidemic of HIV/AIDS," said Zhang Jian, deputy Director of the Chinese Center for Family Planning Publicity and Education.  In the past, condom advertising was viewed as promoting promiscuity.
––"Television Advertisements Promote Condom Use, AIDS Awareness," Xinhua, 29 November 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 29 November 1999,

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