HIV/AIDS could cost China US$40 billion over the next five years due to lost labour as patients fall sick or die, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health. More than US$2 billion could also be lost due to reduced productivity in the agricultural sector. Although large, the figures account for less that 0.3% of China's expected gross domestic product for the next five years. There were an estimated 650,000 people infected with HIV in China by the end of last year, according to a joint World Health Organization and UNAIDS study released in January. An estimated 25,000 people died from AIDS in 2005, 10,000 of them poor farmers who sold blood in the 1990s.
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