Although overall HIV prevalence in China remains relatively low since the first AIDS case was reported in 1985, there are clusters of high prevalence among former blood and plasma sellers in several central provinces and injecting drug users (IDU) in the southern and southwestern parts of the country. Case reports indicate that the epidemic continues to grow at a steady rate, and is spreading into the general population, with the proportion of sexually transmitted HIV infections continuing to increase. The Government response to HIV/AIDS was belated, but has been gaining full momentum in recent years, as demonstrated by the implementation of the policy to provide free treatment and care to rural and poor populations, and free voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) being expanded nationwide. Central government funding for HIV/AIDS efforts has more than doubled in a year, from $47 million in 2003 to $98 million in 2004. An Education Sectoral response to HIV/AIDS has been called for in the national government strategic and action plans for HIV/AIDS prevention and control. Since 2001, the Ministry of Education has issued 4 official directives that provide guidelines, recommendations and standards to local education authorities for the implementation of the school-based HIV/AIDS prevention education. This study reviews how a higher education institution in China - Renmin University of China (RUC) has been responding to HIV/AIDS. By doing so, it is expected to formulate lessons learned and recommendations for higher education institutions in China to respond sensitively, appropriately, and effectively to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
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