HIV/AIDS In The People's Republic Of China
Much of the current spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the People's Republic of China (PRC) has been through intravenous drug use and prostitution. In China, the number of people affected by HIV has been estimated at between 430,000 and 1.5 million, with some estimates going much higher. In many rural areas of China during the 1990s, particularly in the province of Henan, hundreds of thousands up to millions of farmers and peasants were infected with HIV through participation in state-run blood collection programs in which contaminated equipment was reused.
The PRC is not yet near what many would consider a widespread AIDS epidemic, but the infection rate (incidence) has been rising sharply, and a serious outbreak in a country as large as the PRC could significantly impact the economies of both China and the world as a whole. The underlying government response to HIV/AIDS is now that of preemptive intervention.
An official report published in February 2009 stated that in 2008, for the first time, HIV/AIDS was China's leading cause of death among infectious diseases. Nearly 7,000 people died from the disorder in the first nine months of 2008, a substantial increase—until three years prior to this, the total cumulative mortality was fewer than 8,000.
According to the CIA World Factbook, the percentage of adults (aged 15–49) living with HIV/AIDS in China is 0.1%, the same as in Japan and less than in many European Union countries such as the United Kingdom (0.2%) and Austria (0.3%).
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