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China Sees Rise in Estimated Number of HIV/AIDS Cases

China estimates 700,000 of its citizens will be either be HIV-positive or living with full-blown AIDS by the end of 2007.

Health Minister Chen Zhu announced the statistics Thursday in a press conference in Beijing. He says the total includes 85,000 Chinese with AIDS.

The estimates are part of a joint report compiled by Beijing, the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

China had an estimated 650,000 HIV/AIDS infections at the end of 2006.

Officially, over 223,000 Chinese were diagnosed as HIV-positive by the end of October, including more than 62,000 who already have full-blown AIDS. Of the new infections, nearly 45 percent will come from heterosexual transmission, with 42 percent as the result of intravenous drug use. Just over 12 percent will come from homosexual activity.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.