China's Ministry of Health reported nearly 320, 000 HIV cases and 49,845 related deaths in China by the end of October.
According to estimates by the Ministry of Health and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), China has 560,000 to 920,000 people infected with the HIV virus and 97,000 to 112,000 AIDS patients by the end of 2009. Another 41,000 to 55,000 people would have contracted the virus in 2009.
Homosexual sex was reported to be the primary reason for the spread of the virus rather than drug abuse or blood transfusions last year. Among the new HIV cases, male homosexuals accounted for 32.5 percent of the total, jumping from 12.2 percent in 2007, according to Hao Yang, director of the Disease Control and Prevention Center.
The latest statistics from the health ministry showed that the number of infections among students aged 20 to 24 increased from 20.3 percent to 39.8 percent.
China has set up a series of measures to combat HIV/AIDS.
The government has provided free voluntary blood tests, free anti-retroviral treatments for AIDS patients with economic difficulties, free medical advice and treatment for pregnant women and infants, free education for AIDS orphans and governmental care for AIDS patients who live in poverty.
The central government's funding for AIDS control grew from 390 million yuan ($57.1 million) in 2003 to 994 million yuan in 2008, while funding from local governments grew from 100 million yuan to 600 million yuan in the same period
China has 276 AIDS control programs jointly operated with more than 40 foreign governments or international organizations, involving 3.58 billion yuan in funds.