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October 3, 2008

China: HIV Spreads Beyond High-Risk Groups

According to new data, HIV infections have increased among heterosexual women in addition to men who have sex with men (MSM), Reuters reports.

A study published in Nature found that HIV infections among MSM have risen from 0.4 percent in 2005 to 3.3 percent in 2007. In addition, the study revealed that infections among women of childbearing age doubled in the past 10 years.

According to the article, these findings led researchers to believe the disease is moving from high-risk communities to the wider population.

“HIV/AIDS is spreading beyond the high-risk populations, largely due to increased transmission through sexual contact. It implies that HIV/AIDS is not only a disease that affects high-risk population, but the general population alike,” said professor Zhang Linqi, director of AIDS Research Center in Beijing.

Reuters reports there was an estimated 700,000 HIV/AIDS cases in China as of October 2007, of which 38 percent were linked to heterosexual contact.

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