Li Lanjuan, a CPPCC member and a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told Xinhua News Agency on March 4 that more people should take the HIV antibody test, and high-risk people should be tested at least once every two years.
By the end of October 2015, China had 575,000 surviving HIV carriers and AIDS patients, and the number had kept going up. HIV infections caused by male same-sex behaviors had been rising substantially.
According to Prof. Li, a big challenge to HIV prevention and treatment in China lies in the fact that the disease hasn’t been effectively detected. 50-60% of HIV carriers are still not aware they have the virus.
“In clinical practices, most HIV carriers do not tell the doctor they have the virus when they seek medical help for other illnesses, and their concealment has delayed diagnosis and treatment and wasted medical resources. Early and wide HIV screening is the primary challenge for HIV prevention and treatment in China.” said Prof. Li.
Prof. Li said the “Demonstration Area of Comprehensive Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases” was launched in 2009 as a National Major Science and Technology Project. In the demonstration area, the growth rate of new HIV infections was reduced by 47.3% by identifying the primary causes of HIV infections and taking targeted precautions and early treatment measures.
Prof. Li suggested the successful experience be replicated in other regions. In the meanwhile, county and township governments should roll out policies to make the antiviral therapy available and affordable to more AIDS patients.
“The government should beef up financial and policy support to provide free health checkup to all citizens, and low-risk people should also take HIV antibody test every five years.” Prof. Li advised the government to offer comprehensive protections for AIDS patients to receive early treatment, monitor drug efficacy and build drug-resistance monitoring system so as to reduce the risk of disease transmission and lower mortality rate.