497,000 people affected by HIV/AIDS in China

The number of HIV/AIDS cases in China had touched 497,000 by the end of October, with 154,000 deaths, the latest official figures said, according to reports Sunday.

Vice director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, Wang Guoqiang, revealed the figures Sunday at an HIV/AIDS awareness promotion event, ahead of the World AIDS Day Dec 1 and highlighted an obvious increase in the number of HIV carriers and AIDS patients, Xinhua reported.

Noting that there is a low pandemic situation in the country overall, except in some regions, Wang said that sexual transmission is the main source of infection, while mother-to-child, and drug and needle infection rates are low.

According to Wang, infections among young students, the middle-aged and the elderly have been particularly noticeable.

A total of 3,413 anti-virus treatment institutions have been set up in 31 provincial regions, and more than 9,000 voluntary HIV test stations have been set up nationwide.

Premier Li Keqiang vowed Sunday to ensure that more work is done for the prevention and treatment of AIDS, adding that China is willing to cooperate with other countries to combat HIV.