AIDS Mortality In China Drops By Nearly Two Thirds Since 2002 When Country Began Free Treatment Program

China’s HIV/AIDS-related mortality has dropped from 39.3 per 100 person-years in 2002 to 14.2 in 2009, or 64 percent, since the nation began providing free antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2002, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and published online Wednesday in Lancet Infectious Diseases, the New York Times reports (McNeil, 5/18). About 63 percent of people living with HIV in China are receiving ART, according to the study, Bloomberg notes. The study also found injecting drug users and those infected sexually are less likely to receive treatment and more likely to die than people infected through blood transfusions, the news service reports (Bennett, 5/18). 

According to the Telegraph, “[t]he study praised the impact of Chinese government efforts to combat the disease and showed ‘the difference that can be made with high-level political commitment,'” but also said much more needed to be done to reach the estimated 740,000 people living with HIV in China (Foster, 5/19).