Evolution of information-driven HIV/AIDS policies in China

Int J Epidemiol. 2010 Dec;39 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):ii4-13. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyq217.


Background: As China continues to commit to universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care services, its HIV/AIDS policies have become increasingly information driven. We review China's key national-level HIV/AIDS policies and discuss policy gaps and challenges ahead.

Methods: We conducted a desk review of key national-level policies that have had a major impact on China's HIV/AIDS epidemic, and examined recent epidemiological data relevant to China's HIV response.

Results: National-level policies that have had a major impact on China's HIV/AIDS response include: 'Four Frees and One Care'; 5-year action plans; and HIV/AIDS regulation. These landmark policies have facilitated massive scaling up of services over the past decade. For example, the number of drug users provided with methadone maintenance treatment significantly increased from 8116 in 2005 to 241 975 in 2009; almost a 30-fold increase. The 'Four Frees and One Care' policy has increased the number of people living with AIDS on anti-retroviral treatment from some 100 patients in 2003 to over 80 000 in 2009. However, stigma and discrimination remains major obstacles for people living with HIV/AIDS trying to access services.

Conclusions: China's current national policies are increasingly information driven and responsive to changes in the epidemic. However, gaps remain in policy implementation, and new policies are needed to meet emerging challenges.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / therapy
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Blood Donors / legislation & jurisprudence
  • China / epidemiology
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data
  • Counseling
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / therapy*
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Methadone / therapeutic use
  • Needle-Exchange Programs
  • Prejudice
  • Sex Work
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / therapy
  • Travel / legislation & jurisprudence


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents
  • Methadone