Rapid AIDS Testing Available in 102 Urban & Rural Community Medical Service Centers in Beijing
From:Division of Disease Control, BJCHFP
    Host: Hello, Director Gao Xiaojun. The World AIDS Day is approaching again. Could you please tell what publicity activities will be conduct this years?

  Director Gao: Hello, everyone. December 1st of this year is the 27th World Aids Day. The theme of this year’s campaign is going to be the same, i.e., Action toward zero AIDS, and the slogan is Gathering Strength and Overcoming Difficulties to Control AIDS. Moreover, our city has stipulated the period from November 17 to December 12 as a month for prevention and treatment of AIDS, calling upon the entire society to actively devote itself to the prevention and treatment of AIDS and to curb the prevalence of AIDS.

  Host: Could you explain to us the characteristics of the prevalence of AIDS in Beijing?

  Director Gao: Since China’s first AIDS case was reported in Beijing in 1985, as of October 31, 2014, 18635 cases of PLHIV and AIDS patients were reported in total in Beijing, of which 3935 were registered population in Beijing, a share of 21.1%.

  The prevalence of AIDS in Beijing has the following characteristics: first, the newly reported cases of AIDS are rising, in which the proportion of floating population is still staying at a high level, resulting in difficulties in the implementation of follow-up measures; second, sexual transmission remains the primary route of transmission, whose proportion amounted to 95.3%, of which the population with male-male sexual behaviors took a share of 73.5% in the total number of cases. It is very difficult to change such behaviors in this population, and thus the transmission factor of the disease persists; third, some PLHIV are identified so late that 18% infectors person have become AIDS patients when being identified.

  Host: Then, what measures has Beijing taken to prevent and control AIDS?

  Director Gao: The CPC municipal committee of Beijing and Beijing municipal government as well as medical service institutions at all levels have always attached great importance to the prevention and treatment of AIDS.

    First, we have comprehensively applied the prevention and treatment strategy of early identification and early testing and expanded the coverage of testing. In 2014, we have offered the training on the knowledge of prevention and treatment of AIDS for all the 1960 thousand professional medical workers across Beijing. The lab testing network has been improved so that rapid testing is now available at the 102 urban and rural community medical service centers across Beijing. Confirmation labs have been established in the six urban districts and Tongzhou District, and testing for HIV antibody positive and absolute count of CD4T lymphocytes is available in all the other districts (counties). All the medical institutions above the second class have actively provided HIV antibody testing for 2.57 million person-times. And of the newly reported cases, 73.4% were identified from active testing.

  Second, we have stuck to the principle of active treatment and intervention and have effectively put in place the policy of Four Exemptions and One Care. As the designated hospitals for the antiviral therapy against AIDS, Beijing Youan Hospital, Beijing Ditan Hospital, Peking Union Medical College Hospital and 302 Military Hospital of China have provided free-of-charge antiviral therapy and opportunistic infection treatment with cost relief for 7184 AIDS patients since 2004, of which 4642 have been patients from other provinces or municipalities but living for a long time in Beijing, accounting for 64.8%. Till now, 96% patients who have received anti-viral therapy for 6-12 months have got the viruses within their body under complete inhibition, achieving the goal in advance recently proposed by UNAID that 90% infected persons receiving treatment get the viruses under inhibition by 2020.

    Third, we have exerted ourselves to enhancing the participation mechanism engaging all people by guiding 60-strong social organizations to get actively involved in the prevention of AIDS. In 2014, the municipal government have appropriated special funds and given play to the role of social organizations so that a comprehensive service model characterized by integration of active intervention, encouragement of testing, identification of HIV positive, psychological support and referral is proposed, in order to change the high-risk behaviors among the population with male-male sexual behaviors. Furthermore, we have incorporated the capital anti-AIDS volunteers into the BVF management and service platform to give full play to the role of volunteers as to publicity and education. For details, please dial the Beijing Public Health Service Hotline 12320.

  Notes: Testing of HIV antibody positive and absolute count of CD4T lymphocytes: Any PLHIV, if confirmed as HIV positive, is required to receive the testing of absolute count of CD4T lymphocytes to identify the seriousness of AIDS infection. The absolute count of CD4T lymphocytes for a normal human body shall be around 800. A person infected with HIV, however, will experience a year-by-year drop in this count, and when the count becomes below 200, he will be an AIDS patient