UIC AIDS International Training & Research Program (AITRP) UIC AIDS International Training & Research Program (AITRP) UIC AIDS International Training & Research Program (AITRP) UIC School of Public Health



square Total Population = 1.33 billion
square Population growth rate: 0.4%
square Infant mortality rate:  16 deaths/1,000 live births
square GDP per capita: $6010
square Adult literacy rate (age 15 and over can read and write): 94%
square Life expectancy at birth:
  • total population:  74 years
  • male: 72 years
  • female: 76 years
square HIV/AIDS
  • adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2009)
  • people living with HIV/AIDS: 740,000 (2009)
  • deaths: 26,000 (2009)

With one of the fastest growing economies in the world, China currently is undergoing enormous societal change. Besides yielding positive benefits for its people, China 's economic escalation also has produced serious socio-economic and environmental problems related to rapid industrialization, massive internal migration, urbanization, and significant transformation in its cultural norms and practices.

Although estimates of how many people are at risk or living with HIV/AIDS in China remains uncertain, the Chinese Ministry of Health has warned that 10 million persons may be infected by the year 2020 unless countermeasures are quickly taken. The most frequent mode of HIV transmission occurs through the sharing of contaminated needles among male injecting drug-users. (Chu and Levy, 2005). In a number of provinces, a significant but unknown number of cases also can be traced to the illegal collection and trafficking of plasma. Surveillance reports for Henan , Sanxi, and Yuman also document evidence of increasing mother-to-child transmission. Infection through heterosexual intercourse has gained momentum and soon may account for a sizable portion of each local epidemic. Commercial sex work has begun to play an increasing role in such transmission (Qu et al., 2002). The estimated 30 million Chinese migrants from the countryside to cities appear highly vulnerable to high-risk behavior related to displacement, poverty, and survival sex (Tuo et al., 2005). An urgent need exists to educate its people including health professionals about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Also, research capacity and infrastructure in universities and nongovernment research settings, must be strengthened to provide the evidence base for an effective response to the epidemic (He and Detels, 2005).

For more information on AIDS in China, visit the UNAIDS website.


Chu , T. and Levy J. (2005). Injection drug use and HIV/AIDS transmission in China . Cell Research, Nov-Dec 15 (11-12):865-869.

He, N., Detels, R. (2005). The HIV epidemic in China : history, response, and challenge. Cell Research, 15(11-12):825-832, Nov-Dec.

Qu S, Liu W, Choi K, Li R, Jiang D, Zhou Y, Tian F, Lee Chu P, Shi H, Zheng X, Mandel J. (2002) The potential for rapid sexual transmission of HIV in China : sexually transmitted diseases and condom failure highly prevalent among female sex workers.  AIDS and Behavior (6):267-275.

Tuo F., Wang, C.H., Li, P. Wang, He, N. 2005. High risk populations and HIV-1 infection in China . Cell Research, 15(11-12):852-857, Nov-Dec.

United Nations (2011).Table 1c: Population growth and distribution. Accessed on March 28, 2012. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/socind/

United Nation (2011). Table 4a: Literacy. Access on March 28, 2012. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/socind/

World Health Organization (2011). Global health observatory data repository. Child mortality, infant mortality. Accessed on March 28, 2012. http://apps.who.int/ghodata/?vid=60340

Last Updated: March, 2012