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      HIV/AIDS knowledge in detention in Hunan province, China

      1 , 2 , 3 , 2 ,
      BMC Public Health
      BioMed Central

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          Injection drug use (IDU) is one of the major modes of HIV transmission in China. Drug use is illegal in China, all identified drug users are registered by Public Security Bureau, and most were sent to detention; most detainees engaged in high risk behaviours. In order to well understand the HIV/AIDS knowledge among detainees, a survey was conducted in different detention settings in Hunan province in 2008 to assess knowledge and attitudes about HIV among detainees and to provide useful information for HIV prevention and intervention strategies in detention centers.


          A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 10 detentions in Hunan province, China, and demographic information along with knowledge and attitude of HIV/AIDS was collected through standardized interviews. Descriptive statistics were used to describe HIV knowledge, attitudes, and education services among detainees.


          There were 956 detainees interviewed from 10 detention centers. The male to female ratio was 2.24:1. The majority detainees received nine years of compulsory education, accounting for 51.5%. There were nine questions to assess HIV/AIDS knowledge of detainees, and 35.7% of those surveyed answered all nine questions correctly. There were 92.3% (882/956) who consented to be informed about the HIV antibody test results when tested, and 81% (774/956) elected that their family members were also informed. All detention centers had an organized HIV/AIDS education program.


          This study gives us an overview about HIV/AIDS knowledge in detention in Hunan province, and all detention sites in the study provided HIV/AIDS intervention services among detainees that focused on HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitude, and health behaviors.

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          Evolution of China's response to HIV/AIDS

          Summary Four factors have driven China's response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic: (1) existing government structures and networks of relationships; (2) increasing scientific information; (3) external influences that underscored the potential consequences of an HIV/AIDS pandemic and thus accelerated strategic planning; and (4) increasing political commitment at the highest levels. China's response culminated in legislation to control HIV/AIDS—the AIDS Prevention and Control Regulations. Three major initiatives are being scaled up concurrently. First, the government has prioritised interventions to control the epidemic in injection drug users, sex workers, men who have sex with men, and plasma donors. Second, routine HIV testing is being implemented in populations at high risk of infection. Third, the government is providing treatment for infected individuals. These bold programmes have emerged from a process of gradual and prolonged dialogue and collaboration between officials at every level of government, researchers, service providers, policymakers, and politicians, and have led to decisive action.
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            Rapid scale up of harm reduction in China.

            In the last 20 years, China has seen a resurgence in drug use, particularly heroin, and with it a growing epidemic of HIV/AIDS. Faced with this dual epidemic, the government has begun testing harm reduction strategies in recent years. These have included methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) programmes, needle-syringe programmes (NSP), outreach, and increasing access to HIV testing. MMT and NSP have moved from the pilot stage to scale-up, with 320 MMT clinics and 93 NSPs now open. Both will number more than 1000 by the end of 2008. There are some good examples of outreach programmes in some areas, however more needs to be done to facilitate greater involvement from non-government organizations. Similarly, HIV testing for drug users is widely available, but novel approaches to increasing its uptake need to be explored. Management of scale-up and reaching China's vast and dispersed drug-using population remain key challenges. The introduction of harm reduction has been a massive turn-around in thinking by the government, particularly law enforcement agencies, and achieving this has required considerable cooperation and understanding between the Ministries of Health, Public Security, and Justice, and the Food and Drug Administration. With their support, rapid scale-up to effectively reach a majority of drug users can be achieved in the coming years.
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              The development of HIV/AIDS surveillance in China.

              The strategy for monitoring HIV/AIDS in China has evolved with the epidemic. The national HIV/AIDS surveillance system was established in 1985 and sentinel surveillance started in 1995. Initially, 42 sentinel sites were established to monitor the epidemic among certain high-risk groups, including drug users, female sex workers, STD clinic attendees and long-distance truck drivers in epidemic areas. In the last decade the programme has been considerably expanded. Target groups now also include pregnant women, men who have sex with men (MSM), clients of female sex workers and tuberculosis (TB) patients. By the end of 2006, 393 national and 370 provincial sites report to the National Centre for AIDS/Sexually transmitted disease Control and Prevention. In 2004, a nationwide HIV testing campaign was launched among certain high risk groups, including former plasma donors and injecting drug users. Routine testing in health care settings and detention centres was introduced in 2005. Behavioural surveillance began in 2004 and there were already 159 sites in 27 provinces by the end of 2006. In addition a number of epidemiological surveys have been undertaken among various groups to augment surveillance data. The combination of these comprehensive strategies is used to monitor the HIV/AIDS epidemic and guide policy decision-making. The Chinese experience illustrates how surveillance systems need to be dynamic in order to monitor trends in HIV over time.

                Author and article information

                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BioMed Central
                28 April 2010
                : 10
                : 221
                [1 ]Office for Disease Control and Emergency Response, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, PR China
                [2 ]National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, PR China
                [3 ]Hunan provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Changsha, PR China
                Copyright ©2010 Zhang et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 26 May 2009
                : 28 April 2010
                Research article

                Public health
                Public health


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