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China�s Free AIDS Drugs Lead to Steep Drop in Deaths

China�s Free AIDS Drugs Lead to Steep Drop in Deaths


China has seen a 64% drop in AIDS-related deaths in less than a decade after the government started distributing free antiretroviral drugs to its HIV-positive population.

An estimate of how long someone lives is measured in China as "person-years." Handing out free antiretroviral drugs starting in 2002 has caused the rate of mortality among HIV-positive people to drop from 39.3 per 100 person-years in 2002 to 14.2 per 100 person-years in 2009, The New York Times reported Thursday.

According to the report, 63% of those who needed AIDS medications are now receiving them. The government and United Nations AIDS estimates that approximately 740,000 people in China have HIV.

The study, with information from the Chinese national center for control and prevention of AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, was published Wednesday in The Lancet.

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