According to the latest data released by the National Health Commission, as of the end of October this year, China reported 1.14 million people infected with HIV, and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS remains low in the country, China Central Television reported on Wednesday, which marks World AIDS Day.

Sex remains the main conduit

As the data showed, a total of 111,000 infections were reported in China in the first 10 months of this year. Sexual transmission was blamed for 97 percent of the new cases, with sexual transmission between homosexuals responsible for 26 percent of the total.

According to data released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the spread amongst heterosexuals and homosexuals has increased from 48.3 percent and 9.1 percent in 2009 to 74.2 percent and 23.3 percent in 2020, respectively. The proportion of HIV transmission through drug injecting has dropped sharply from 25.2 percent in 2009 to less than 2.5 percent in 2020. Men who have sex with men are the highest risk group for HIV infection.

The rise in infection among young people is a common challenge for AIDS prevention and control all over the world. In recent years, about 3,000 young students between the ages of 15 and 24 were infected with HIV each year in China.

Among the almost 3,000 cases in this age bracket in 2020, sexual transmission accounted for 98.6 percent.

Experts pointed out that as the infection of youth is mainly through sexual transmission, it is necessary to promote a healthy lifestyle among young people and encourage students to actively participate in HIV prevention and treatment activities.

1.14 million people infected with HIV in China

Number of patients above 50 years old increases

According to a report from the AIDS prevention and control center of China CDC, among the yearly reported HIV/AIDS cases in China, the proportion of patients aged 50 and above has increased significantly, from 22 percent in 2011 to 44 percent in 2020.

As the risk of HIV/AIDS infection among the elderly increases, attention should be paid to their emotional well-being, enabling family connections to alleviate their loneliness. At the same time, it is necessary to promote safe sex among the elderly.

Transmission through drugs and mother-to-child injection drop to lowest level

The National Health Commission said that through the implementation of various AIDS prevention and control measures over the years and the increase in public awareness of prevention and treatment, transmission through blood transfusion in China has basically ceased, and mother-to-child transmission and transmission through intravenous drug use has been reduced to the lowest levels in history.

Meanwhile, there are more than 5,800 free antiviral treatment institutions across the country to provide free treatment for HIV-infected people. And the success rate of antiviral treatment in China has reached over 95 percent. Though there is currently no cure for AIDS, antiviral therapy can help control the development of the disease and improve the quality of life of infected individuals.