Despite ambitious efforts to expand the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of HIV, China has seen a continual increase in the number of people living with the virus. According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, that number reached 850,000 at the end of 2015. Newly diagnosed cases reached a historic high of 115,000 in the same year. Both heterosexual transmission and transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to increase.
Control of the HIV epidemic in China depends on reaching high-risk groups with prevention programs and accurate information, testing, and efficient and effective treatment programs. China can make significant progress by sustaining its investments to expand access to HIV prevention and treatment, improve its HIV programs, and support research into new and better prevention and treatment methods.
From 2008 to 2013, we worked with the Chinese government and community organizations on a program to expand HIV prevention (through testing and interventions) among those most at risk of infection and to provide care and treatment to those living with HIV. In some program cities, more than half of all newly detected cases were identified through our collaboration with community organizations. Over the years, these community organizations have gained recognition and government support for their critical role in preventing and controlling HIV.
In 2014, we launched the second phase of the program focused on deepening participation by community organizations. The program helps the Chinese government establish and operate a special fund to support the work of community organizations and advocate relevant policies, such as the inclusion of rapid HIV tests in the National Guideline for Detection of HIV/AIDS. In addition, we are also supporting a series of public events to continuously build an enabling social environment for the disease control, and fight against social discrimination towards the infected group.