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China has Realized Domestic Manufacturing of Complete Package of HIV Testing Products

China has realized the domestic manufacturing of a complete package of HIV testing products, including reagents and test instruments, in the past decade, marking a significant progress instead of thoroughly relying on imported products.
This is the information obtained by ChinaNews.com journalist from the HIV Testing Product Showcase Workshop on May 5.
At the workshop, in addition to experts' presentations, 26 reagents and 13 test instruments were presented, which were made by Chinese companies for use in preliminary screening, detection of new infection, confirmatory testing, viral load detection, lymphocyte detection, drug resistance detection and nucleic acid assay, etc.
Jiang Yan, Director of the Reference Laboratory of NCAIDS, China CDC, pointed out at the workshop that during the 10th Five-year Plan period, the prevention and control of HIV and viral hepatitis other major infectious diseases have been included in National Key Science and Technology Program. In the past decade, the Government of China has increased the financial funding for HIV/AIDS response by ten folds. To date, China has become able to produce a complete package of HIV testing products. In 2015, governmental finance input for HIV/AIDS response is expected to exceed RMB 3 billion.
Jiang Yan stressed that sexual transmission is the primary route for HIV spread in mainland China.
In 2014, around 104,000 new HIV infections were reported in mainland China, which is 14.8% more than that reported in last year. 91.5% of the cases were infected via sexual transmission, including 66% heterosexual transmission and 25% homosexual transmission. It should be noted that the routes of HIV transmission vary in different parts of China; the prevalence of HIV infection among men who have sex with men is rapidly rising.
Jiang also indicated that HIV testing was conducted that covered 130 million Chinese people in last year, but only 500,000 were men who have sex with men. Among the newly identified 104,000 PLWHA, more than 40% are located in Yunnan, Sichuan or Guangxi.
In 2012, HIV-infected persons infected via sex between men in the mainland China accounted for 19% of all newly identified PLWHA (i.e. less than 1/5). In 2014, this figure rose to 1/4. Among the new PLWHA reported capital cities of 31 provinces/municipalities/regions throughout China, male homosexuals account for 51% averagely. In northern cities such as Beijing, Harbin and Changchun, male homosexuals account for as high as 80% or higher; in small and medium cities and rural areas, however, homosexual transmission accounts for one-third only.
According to Jiang Yan, by the end of 2013, globally there were still 19 million possible PLWHA who did not know they were infected with HIV. "This represents huge risk!" Therefore, it is an urgent priority to accelerate the research and development of more convenient and sensitive rapid test reagents, urine reagents and self-test reagents. To enhance the level of case detection among HIV vulnerable groups, missed detection must be reduced and voluntary testing must be promoted, in order to realize early treatment and contain HIV spread.
According to information disclosed at the workshop, serum/plasma specimens are still the primary targets for currently available in vitro reagents. In the course of blood collection, health workers and test recipients are faced with risk of infection via needle pricking. Besides, blood test is not conducive to the self-testing of people infected via sex between men.
According to study findings, in the urine of HIV-infected persons there is HIV antibody. This makes it possible to detect HIV and assess the infection status via urine. Since urine test is noninvasive and does not lead to occupational exposure, it is particularly applicable for self-testing. This merit is not seen in blood test.
This HIV Testing Product Showcase Workshop was jointly sponsored by Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Committee of Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party, and Beijing Advanced and Innovative Medical Device Industrialization Alliance. Among the products exhibited, approximately one-third were supplied by manufacturers located in Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone.
In Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone (Yizhuang), biological and pharmaceutical industries are consistently the pillar industries for developing "high-end" economy structure. To date, in Yizhuang there are over 520 biological and pharmaceutical companies which constitute an industrial cluster. Around 50% of the value of gross output of biological and pharmaceutical companies in Beijing is seen in Yizhuang. (Source: jkb.com.cn/ChinaNews.com; journalist: Chen Jian. 2015-05-06)