November 21, 2011
Interventions to prevent and control HIV among China's high-risk groups should grow to 90 percent coverage by 2015, according to a five-year plan adopted by the State Council AIDS Working Committee, which met Friday. Vice Premier Li Keqiang listed key objectives following a Ministry of Health update and planning report.
Testing and counseling services should be available at all hospitals at the county level and above, as well as grassroots clinics in high-prevalence settings, Li said. Governments should provide non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with financial and other support to leverage their unique prevention role, particularly HIV awareness and interventions, he said. Treatment improvements to continue cutting mortality should be augmented with other assistance, such as addressing patients' financial difficulties, he said.
The committee noted remarkable progress in HIV prevention and control nationwide: Transmissions are down; the mortality rate has fallen; social discrimination has eased; and patients' quality of life is improving.
Ahead of World AIDS Day (Dec. 1), Li visited with HIV medical personnel, volunteers of NGOs, and people living with HIV/AIDS. At Beijing's Disease Prevention and Control Center, Li stressed the testing clinic's importance to early diagnoses and treatment, encouraging staff there to continue working hard. Saying prevention requires the entire society, Li called for establishing a mechanism to involve "social forces" in efforts.
"Care, respect and assistance are the best pain relievers for people living with HIV," Li said.
Xinhua News Agency
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