Volunteers stick red ribbons on a billboard in support of a campus HIV/AIDS awareness event at Northwest University in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, on Sunday. YUAN JINGZHI/FOR CHINA DAILY
Premier Li Keqiang has called for unremitting efforts to prevent and treat major infectious diseases such as AIDS.
Li said in an instruction published on Saturday that China has made marked achievements in the prevention and treatment of AIDS while facing some new situations that require attention.
Relevant agencies should use reform of the disease prevention and control system as an opportunity to continue to innovate mechanisms and methods, ensure sound public health services, and focus on key areas, groups and links, he said.
Li said the effectiveness of education and intervention needed to be improved, monitoring and early warning strengthened, and better play given to the role of social organizations in AIDS prevention.
With continuous efforts, China has made significant progress in HIV prevention and control in recent years, with HIV infection through blood transfusion eliminated, and transmission through drug abuse and from mothers to babies effectively contained, the commission said.
Zhou Yuhui, deputy director of the National Health Commission's disease control bureau, said China still faces many challenges in fighting HIV as the prevalence of dating apps has led to more unsafe sexual behavior and frequent internal migration is making effective intervention more difficult.
Even more worrying, he said, is that about a quarter of Chinese living with the virus are unaware of their HIV-positive status, and a large number of infected people do not receive diagnoses until their conditions have developed to an advanced stage.