In a new campaign to stem the spread of AIDS, China's Health Ministry is urging the promotion of free condoms, prevention education and needle exchanges, moves previously considered taboo by China's leadership, the Associated Press reported. The proposals call for local governments to tailor the measures to high-risk groups, in some instances combining methadone treatment with needle exchanges to promote safe behavior among drug users, a group virtually overlooked in the past. China says 840,000 Mainlanders are infected with HIV and 80,000 have the full-blown disease, a number that health experts believe is much lower than actual. The experts warn that China could have 10m infected by 2010 unless stronger measures are taken.
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