Key facts

  • HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 25 million lives over the past three decades.
  • There were approximately 34 million people living with HIV in 2011.
  • HIV infection is usually diagnosed through blood tests detecting the presence or absence of HIV antibodies.
  • There is no cure for HIV infection. However, effective treatment with antiretroviral drugs can control the virus so that people with HIV can enjoy healthy and productive lives.
  • In 2011, more than 8 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in low- and middle-income countries. Another 7 million people need to be enrolled in treatment to meet the target of providing ART to 15 million people by 2015.
  • 448 million new infections of curable sexually transmitted (syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis) infections occur yearly.
  • Some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) exist without symptoms.
  • Sexually transmitted infections are the main preventable cause of infertility, particularly in women.
  • WHO recommends a syndromic approach to diagnosis and management of sexually transmitted infections in resource-constrained settings.


  • In 2011, there were an estimated 780,000 people living with HIV in China, 48,000 new infections and 28,000 deaths.
  • The national HIV prevalence was 0.058%. The HIV epidemic is concentrated in some provinces and among key affected population groups (former plasma donors, sex workers and their clients, people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men).
  • The Government has displayed commendable leadership and funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and control. HIV testing and counselling services and facilities providing antiretroviral treatment have been scaled up significantly. At the end of 2011, 3,142 ART clinics were in place nationwide and a total of 126,448 people living with HIV were on antiretroviral treatment.
  • However, in 2011, more than 50% of people living with HIV did not know yet their HIV status. Innovative strategies have to be scaled up to increase testing of those most at risk. These strategies include peer-based and outreach testing using rapid tests.

Tuberculosis and HIV

  • WHO estimated that China had 13,000 HIV positive incident TB cases in 2011.
  • Among 911,884 notified TB patients in 2011, 23% were tested for HIV and 2.3% of tested TB patients were HIV positive.
  • The Ministry of Health issued the National Framework on TB/HIV Collaboration in 2005, and the National Implementation Protocol for TB/HIV Co-infection Control in 2010.

Pregnancy and HIV

  • The preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programme has been implemented in 1,156 prefectures/counties where the epidemic is relatively high, covering 39% of the counties and districts nationwide.
  • In 2011, 74.1% of detected HIV-positive pregnant women received antiretroviral treatment to reduce the risk of transmission from mother to child.
  • The integration of the PMTCT of syphilis, viral hepatitis B and HIV is currently being scaled up.


  • China has committed to achieving WHO's goal of eliminating congenital syphilis and paediatric HIV by 2015, as well as working towards zero new HIV infections and deaths.
  • China's growing capacity in the management of HIV and STI is being used by WHO to support other countries of the Western Pacific Region.
  • China has three WHO collaborating Centres on HIV/STI:
    • The Beijing Ditan hospital is a WHO collaborating centre for HIV comprehensive management.
    • The National Centre for STD and leprosy control in Nanjing is a WHO collaborating centre for the Prevention and Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections.
    • The Shanghai Blood Centre is a WHO collaborating centre for blood transfusion services.
  • The National Centre for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention (NCAIDS) Immunology and Virology laboratory in China has been accredited as a Regional laboratory for HIV drug resistance genotyping. It aims to train laboratory experts from other Western Pacific countries on genotyping techniques and to conduct genotyping of specimens from these countries.

WHO's Response on HIV

WHO is working in the following areas to prevent and control HIV:

  • Prevention program with special focus on men who have sex with men.
  • Maximizing opportunities for HIV testing and counselling for key affected populations.
  • Integrated prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, syphilis and HBV.
  • TB-HIV and HIV-viral hepatitis co-infection detection and management.
  • HIV and STI surveillance.
  • Monitoring of the prevention to ART cascade and HIV drug resistance monitoring for program quality improvement.

WHO also facilitates an increasing role of China in the Region and in the World in the area of HIV related drugs and diagnostics, laboratory services, information systems and operational research.