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Arch AIDS Res. 1992;6(1-2):1-5.

HIV infection and AIDS in China.



Through November 1990, phlebotomists took serum samples from 305,280 people (32,093 of whom were foreigners) to determine the prevalence of HIV-1 infection and AIDS in China. The phlebotomists worked in the laboratory at the Academy of Preventive Medicine in Beijing, provincial health and antiepidemic stations, and other health institutions throughout China. The Virology Institute at the Academy used the ELISA, immunoenzymatic tests, gelatin particle agglutination test, or immunofluorescence test to detect HIV-1 and confirmed positive samples with the Western Blot test. HIV-1 was introduced into China from Thailand in 1983. 378 Chinese tested positive with the vast majority (365) being drug abusers from southwest China near Myanmar (Burma). 90.2% of the HIV-1 positive drug abusers were 15-39 years old. 83% were from minority ethnic groups especially the Dai and Jing Po groups. 80% worked on farms. 64% of the 164 intravenous (IV) drug abusers tested HIV-1 positive and they had the highest incidence rate of all groups. No IV drug abuser who did not live in the southwest region bordering Burma tested HIV-1 positive. 19 Chinese with hemophilia tested HIV-1 positive, 4 of whom had received factor VIII produced in the US and imported into China in 1983. Only 1 of 96 homosexual men tested HIV-1 positive. Just .2% (68) of the 32,093 foreigners tested HIV-1 positive. No prostitutes, sexually transmitted disease patients, or blood transfusion patients (traditional high risk groups) were HIV-1 positive. There were only 5 AIDS patients (2 Chinese [a drug abuser and 1 infected abroad] who died in 1990 and 3 from the US). The laboratory was able to isolate HIV-1 virus from 1 of the US AIDS patients. It did not find HIV-2 in any of the 50 sera from African students and Chinese who had been to Africa. These results indicated a need to limit or prevent HIV transmission from the border area with Burma to other parts of China.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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