Overview of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, scientific research and government responses in China

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The unique pattern of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in China–high HIV infection rate among injecting drug users (IDUs) and former plasma donors (FPDs)–but a relatively low overall infection rate in the country provides a window period for taking action. Over the past 10 years, Chinese scientists have conducted several pilot demonstration projects that provided domestic evidence for policy development for controlling AIDS. More recently, the Chinese government has taken bold steps to scale-up HIV testing and counseling, offer free anti-retroviral treatment to AIDS patients, and expand primary prevention measures such as methadone maintenance and needle exchange programs for drug users and condom promotion for sex workers and men who have sex with men. The remarkable achievements in such a short period of time indicate that China is strongly committed to limiting the epidemic and maintaining a low HIV prevalence into the future.

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