Over two lakh people have died in China due to HIV/AIDS this year with 94 per cent of them contracting the disease due to sexual transmission, according to official figures released here on Wednesday. About 6.54 lakh people are fighting the disease which showed signs of increase among the youth, Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, adding that more transmissions among young and senior males have been noted.
From January to September, 2,321 students, aged between 15 to 24 tested positive for HIV/AIDS, 4.1 times more than in 2010. In addition, 13,000 men aged above 60 discovered they were carrying the virus, 3.6 times that of 2010, it said. About 96,000 new cases in total were reported in the first nine months, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
In the same period, heterosexual sexual transmission accounted for 66.7 per cent of all cases, and homosexual activities accounted for 27.5 per cent of transmissions, said the CDC, adding that mother-to-child and intravenous drug infection rates were low.
In 2015, more than 32,000 men were reported to be infected with the virus through homosexual activities. The number was 7,675 in 2010.
Also, the number of people having received AIDS/HIV treatment has increased almost seven times in the past six years in the volatile Xinjiang province which was caught in spiral violence in the last few years.
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More than 20,000 people living with AIDS/HIV had received treatment in Xinjiang as of September this year, it said.
Xinjiang has 39,840 people living with HIV/AIDS, and the number of designated hospitals for antiretroviral treatment in the region rose from 48 in 2010 to 92 in 2016.
The central and the regional governments have spent over USD 38 million on medicines and subsidies for people living with HIV/AIDS in the region, Zhang Feng, deputy director of the regional AIDS prevention office said.
Yunnan in southwest China reported 9,723 new cases of HIV/AIDS in the first ten months of 2016. The figure was slightly less than that of the same period last year.
Among the new cases, 92.6 per cent were related to unprotected sex, a rise of 1.2 per cent from earlier year.
Sex, intravenous drug taking, and mother-to-child transmission are the three main modes of HIV/AIDS spread.
Yunnan, which borders the notorious Golden Triangle region, also faces bigger issues of drug usage compared with other regions.
Drugs, a former key driver of HIV spread, accounted for 6.3 per cent of the new cases from January to October in 2016.
The data also showed a rising number of foreigners living with HIV/AIDS along the provincial border, accounting for 9. 5 per cent of the new cases.
Yunnan had 93,437 people living with HIV/AIDS as of October 31 this year.
Across the country, the number was 575,000 by the end of October 2015.