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China reports rise in sexually transmitted diseases

Source:Reuters.com Author:Ben Blanchard Date:03/25/14 Click:

China unveiled on Friday a large percentage rise in 2007 in diseases transmitted sexually or via blood, including AIDS and syphilis, without reporting exact figures.

The number of new AIDS infections soared 45 percent in 2007, compared with 2006, the Health Ministry said in a statement on its Web site (www.moh.gov.cn), adding new syphilis cases rose 24 percent.

The ministry's statement did not elaborate.

China has been battling an acknowledged rise in HIV/AIDS infections, now mainly sexually transmitted, though has said previously that the rate overall is slowing.

In the past, most infections were caused by intravenous drug use.

The government had said late last year it estimated about 700,000 people were living with HIV/AIDS in China in 2007, up from an earlier estimate of 650,000.

The government has rolled out a major television campaign to promote condom use, a major move for a country where talking about sex is still taboo for many people.

The Health Ministry added scarlet fever and measles cases also rose in 2007, though other diseases declined.

There was just one death from plague last year, and no deaths from cholera, even as the number of new infections edged up a little under three percent, it said.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Mathew Veedon)

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