China's top AIDS official said the country's confirmed number of HIV cases rose by more than 50% in the past year, but the magnitude of the epidemic remains unclear due to the government's poor monitoring, Reuters reported. By the end of September, the number of reported HIV cases was 135,630, compared with 89,067 over the same period last year, according to Wang Longde, director of the State Council AIDS Prevention and Treatment Work Committee. Health experts say China's vast size and poor healthcare infrastructure mean that only about 15% of HIV-positive people are officially diagnosed with the virus, and even fewer AIDS patients receive medical attention. Wang told a medical conference that local officials were continuing to cover up the cases, out of fear that acknowledging the epidemic would hamper economic growth.
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