AIDS ranks top fatal infection among Chinese in 2008 2009-02-17 22:07:29   Print

    BEIJING, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- The AIDS virus, which claimed 6,897 lives from January to September in 2008, became the top killer among infectious diseases in China for 2008, according to a government epidemic report released Tuesday.

    Tuberculosis and rabies ranked the second and third followed by hepatitis and infant's tetanus, said the report released by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on its Website.

    By comparison with the rankings in the previous three years, AIDS jumped to the top from the third place of infectious disease killers for the first time with a doubled accumulated number of infected people in the country.

    The MOH confirmed 264,302 HIV accumulated cases by the end of September. Of those cases, 34,864 have died.

    The accumulated figure nearly doubled from the figure released three years ago. In September 2005, the MOH announced that an accumulated 135,630 Chinese had been infected by the virus.

    Three years ago, the death toll was 7,773. By 2008, the death toll was five times that figure.

    AIDS is believed to have been introduced to China in 1982. Three years later, the government announced the first death from the disease.

    The government launched a nationwide policy of "four frees, one care," in 2003 for all HIV carriers and AIDS patients.

    The four frees are: free HIV testing; free counseling and treatment for carriers in rural regions; free medication for all pregnant HIV carriers, and free education for AIDS orphans. The "care" is for impoverished AIDS patients and the elimination of AIDS-related discrimination.

    The report also said the health authorities included hand-foot-and-mouth disease into the country's epidemic prevention and control endeavor in May last year.

    After a major outbreak in central China's Anhui Province last March, the disease had claimed 128 lives in the country.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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