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China Global Fund AIDS Program Round 5: Preventing a New Wave of the HIV Epidemic in China

Currently, HIV/AIDS epidemic is rapidly growing in China. The constantly increasing numbers of persons infected with HIV via sex and the number of females living with HIV/AIDS indicate that HIV/AIDS is spreading from high risk populations (such as IDUs, CSWs and MSM) to the general population, with the risk of further growth of epidemic.

Along with the social opening-up and economic development, people become more and more tolerant to sexual freedom, with unsafe sex becoming increasingly popular among different populations. The seven program provinces/municipalities/autonomous regions covered by China Global Fund AIDS Program Round 5 (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Gansu and Chongqing) are HIV/AIDS low-prevalence areas; nevertheless, there are still high risk populations and high risk behaviors similar to many other high-prevalence areas. The majority of high risk populations never receive HIV antibody test. Due to the increasingly popular unsafe sex, the number of HIV infections due to sexual transmission in the seven program provinces increased significantly, accounting for 8% of all reported cases in 1997-2002 and 20% in 2001-2005.

The Government of China made strong political commitment to HIV/AIDS response. The State Council promulgated the Regulations on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control in January 2006, providing for the establishment of operational mechanism for HIV/AIDS response on the basis of government leadership, multisectoral accountability and social participation, as well as the development of integrated interventions on anti-discrimination and condom use promotion, etc. This suggested that legislation of Chinese HIV/AIDS response had been initiated. The State reinforced financial support, with the fund for HIV/AIDS response increased from RMB 390 million in 2003 to RMB 800 million in 2005, and local financial input increased from less than RMB 100 million in 2003 to RMB 280 million in 2005. In the recent years, top State officials have attached great importance to HIV/AIDS prevention and control. Certain areas of the seven program provinces have launched HIV/AIDS response activities, and NGOs have gradually expanded interventions and care activities.

Although the central government has created supportive policy environment for HIV/AIDS prevention and control, certain local governments failed to implement these policies effectively, and there remains a major gap between the input and the needs for HIV/AIDS response. This program covers low-prevalence areas where there are poor basis and challenges against HIV/AIDS response.

In order to facilitate the implementation of State and local HIV/AIDS planning and action plans, this program is designed to change high risk behaviors, reduce discrimination against HIV/AIDS and contain the spread of HIV, by developing integrated interventions with high risk populations and promoting NGO participation. This program will effectively complement and contribute to the national HIV/AIDS prevention and control.

China Global Fund AIDS Program Round 5 has a total budget of USD 28.9 million from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2011. Program areas include Chongqing, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Gansu and Ningxia. Program components include public awareness raising, outreach services, peer education, condom promotion and use, STI management, VCT, anti-discrimination, participation of PLWHA, leadership development and multi-sectoral cooperation. Target populations include migrants, CSWs and MSM.