HIV/AIDS cases down by one fourth in Shanghai

Cai Wenjun
Shanghai has noted a significant decrease in HIV/AIDS cases over the past three years, as health authorities increase education awareness, prevention and treatment.
Cai Wenjun

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS remains low in the city, with reported cases of the HIV virus continuing to decrease throughout 2020 and 2021, officials from the Shanghai Health Commission said on Wednesday, eve of the World AIDS Day.

The city had reported 1,203 cases of HIV carriers by November 20 this year, 28.9 percent lower from the same time last year and 18.8 percent lower than that in 2020.

There were 356 AIDS patients in the city, with 149 related deaths, down 28.8 percent and 23.2 percent, respectively, from last year.

About 91 percent of new HIV cases reported this year were male, almost the same as last year.

Among the HIV carriers reported this year, 94.9 percent were transmitted by sex. Male-male sex accounted for 53.9 percent of all sex-related cases.

No mother-to-infant infections have occurred so far this year in Shanghai, for the 13th straight year.

Prevention via education, testing, treatment and intervention at an early stage

Since the first reported HIV infection in the city in 1987, Shanghai has seen 29,276 infections, including 9,913 AIDS cases. A total of 2,631 people died.

Over 90 percent of cases are covered by the city's AIDS treatment mechanism and over 98 percent of the cases are well under control.

Shanghai has been enhancing AIDS prevention and control through promoting public education through social media, stepping up targeted intervention, and education to different types of people, encouraging self-tests and offering follow-up support to people who are tested positive in the first screening.

So far, over 90 percent of local residents know basic knowledge on HIV/AIDS prevention and control, with over 90 percent of the high-risk population undergoing screening and intervention, and over 90 percent of HIV carriers and AIDS patients covered by management and treatment, the commission said.

Health authorities also stepped up HIV/AIDS monitoring on pregnant women, and established a whole-process management. The city offered treatment to block mother-to-infant transmission to 23 positive pregnant women in the first nine months of this year, and all succeeded.

The authority also introduced an innovative measure by pushing social organizations to involve themselves in HIV/AIDS prevention and control. About one fourth of self-tests among people with male-male sex is organized by social organizations. For drug users, such percentage is almost half of the total.

Zhang Hao, vice director of the Shanghai Health Commission, said Shanghai will further enhance early education, early testing, early treatment and early intervention to targeted populations, to reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS spreading and encourage all walks of society to participate in AIDS prevention and control.

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