HIV and injecting drug use in a Chinese Muslim community: Experiences of the Xinjiang HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Project
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According to Xinhua News Agency (17 October 2003), the Chinese Ministry of Public Security has recorded some 600,000 drug users in China, 80% of whom are young people. However, there are estimates that the actual number of drug users may be eight to ten times higher than the registered figure. Even though China has strong anti-drugs policies and the law stipulates that drug users must be rehabilitated, it has increasingly been possible to introduce harm reduction programmes for drug users in the country. The Chinese Plan of Action to Contain, Prevent and Control HIV/AIDS (2001-2005) offered much-needed opportunities for programmes providing syringe and needle exchange, condom distribution and methadone treatment for drug users. One of these programmes is the Xinjiang HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Project, funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
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