HIV/AIDS infections remain low while public awareness continues to rise

Cai Wenjun
The number of people going for voluntary HIV testing is rising and medical facilities and voluntary counseling and testing clinics have become a key pathway for HIV/AIDS detection.
Cai Wenjun

Shanghai reported 1,457 people infected with HIV by November 20, an increase of 21.1 percent from 2022 but down by 13.9 percent from 2021, officials from the Shanghai Health Commission said on Friday, World AIDS Day.

There were 596 patients with AIDS and 283 AIDS deaths incurred this year. No mother-to-infant infection was reported.

"The prevalence of HIV/AIDS remains low in Shanghai, while public awareness is rising. The number of people going for voluntary HIV testing continues to rise and medical facilities and voluntary counseling and testing clinics have also become a major pathway for HIV/AIDS detection," according to the commission.

Since the first HIV/AIDS case in Shanghai in 1987, the city reported 30,859 HIV/AIDS cases, including 10,567 AIDS patients, and 2,951 associated deaths.

The authority said the number of people infected with the HIV virus has shown a downturn in recent years and remains at a low level. Sex is still the major means of transmission of the virus, accounting for 97 percent of all those infected, and males having sex with males accounts for 55.8 percent of sex-related infections.

Prevention and control

Health education on AIDS prevention and control, and high-quality and comprehensive intervention have shown good effects, as the number of people self-testing and testing voluntarily continues to rise, the commission said.

Education and promotion of condom use and Internet-based artificial intelligence technology has been adopted in community-level precise intervention and management of high-risk people.

Medical capability on virus testing has been enhanced and a preventative health-care network before and after possible HIV/AIDS exposure has been established in local designated hospitals, public hospitals and neighborhood health centers.

All 16 districts have extended service hours for HIV voluntary counseling and testing. Those accessing the service have increased by 60 percent from 2022.

Health professionals and volunteers visit entertainment venues, construction sites, wet markets, hotels, and gay bars to promote education and encourage voluntary testing.

The number of people going to hospitals for voluntary testing, and the detection of positive cases all rose at the same time last year. Key potential targets including elderly people, migrant women, and sex partners of those who have HIV are offered self-testing kits.

In addition, the city has further perfected high-quality treatment and care for HIV/AIDS people through follow-up management, health education, medical support, behavioral intervention, and mental guidance to improve treatment effects and patients' compliance.

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