Wed, Aug 14, 2013 - Page 3 News List

CDC launches alliance to combat HIV

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Health officials and civic group representatives announce the formation of an Alliance for AIDS Prevention in Taipei yesterday, marking Chinese Lovers’ Day, the Double Seventh Festival.

Photo: CNA

The Alliance for AIDS Prevention was launched on Lovers’ Day yesterday to integrate resources and initiatives to improve control and promote awareness of the disease, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said.

The aim of the alliance is to strengthen the cooperative relationship between the CDC’s six control centers, local governments, educational departments and non-governmental organizations in fighting the spread of the disease, the centers said.

“With the formation of the alliance, we are promoting and upholding the concept: ‘Love yourself and love others.’ People should protect themselves and thereby protect others by rejecting the abuse of addictive substances and unsafe sex,” CDC Director-General Chang Feng-yee (張峰義) said.

According to CDC data, as of the end of last month, 1,360 new cases of HIV infection had been reported this year, an 8 percent increase from the same period last year.

The agency said this figure means that on average six people are diagnosed with HIV every day.

Of the 1,360 new cases, 327 are people aged 15 to 24, 6 percent higher than the figure recorded in the same period last year.

Starting from 2009, the number of people with HIV in this age group has increased each year and now represents more than one-quarter of the total cases in the nation, with the ratio reaching 27 percent last month, the agency said.

“From 2008 to last year, the rate of HIV infection among students was 15 percent, a figure that is quite alarming,” Ministry of Education official Wang Chun-chuan (王俊權) said.

“Beginning next month, sex education will be introduced in schools at every level, from elementary schools to universities. We are also planning to install a teacher with knowledge of the disease on every college campus, as well as introduce anonymous HIV testing at universities,” Wang said.

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