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UNAIDS considers 200 syringes per person and above as high coverage.23 A 2014 study found 69% of people living with HIV in Guangxi, a provinces with one of the highest HIV prevalence’s in China, were infected through injecting drugs.24 Providing targeted intervention programmes for people who inject drugs is vital for reducing their risk to HIV.
China has intensified HIV testing efforts since the beginning of the millennium, tailoring its approach depending on the type of group or population being targeted.25 An active-testing approach has largely been adopted across the country, inviting high-risk groups such as people who inject drugs, pregnant woman and men who have sex with men to take an HIV test.
This means the number of new cases in 2016 is likely to exceed 115,000, the number of new cases recorded in 2015.5 China has a relatively low national HIV prevalence rate.
However, the HIV epidemic is still a major concern for some of the key affected populations within the country.
It was estimated that the HIV-positive rate of people receiving methadone dropped marginally from 0.13% in 2013 to 0.12% in 2014.21 In 2014, 814 needle exchange projects were operating across 14 provinces.
More than 56,000 drug users participated in the needle exchange programme and more than 11 million needles and syringes were distributed.22 This equates to 204 clean syringes per person.
China has made substantial progress in tackling its HIV epidemic.
China’s HIV history has been anything but steady, with national negligence a critical factor in the spread of HIV in the early 1990s.
The 2015 study mentioned above found high-risk behaviour among men who have sex with men in China to be high.
In 2014 alone, 21,000 people died from AIDS-related causes.2 The number of people living with HIV receiving treatment has steadily increased across the country.
However, progress in reducing mother-to-child transmission rates is still regarded as slow.
Around 45.7% of respondents reported having unprotected sex with male partners and 10.9% with female partners.
Around 38% had exchanged money for sexual activities.