The number of Chinese people living with HIV/AIDS has surged nearly 14 per cent in under a year, official data suggested on Wednesday.
There were 654,000 people officially living with HIV/AIDS at the end of September, up 79,000 on the 575,000 reported at the end of October last year by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, state media reported.
Some 96,000 new cases were reported in the first nine months of 2016, with transmissions rising "among the young and senior males," the Xinhua news agency said.
However, the numbers quoted in the media seemed to have "some problems," Han Ke, director of the Xinjiang LGBT Center, told dpa.
"The infection rate surely couldn't go up that much in one year, but perhaps the reported rate could."
Many people may have found out only last year that they had HIV/AIDS after a new testing-and-treatment process was launched nationwide, Han explained.
Wang Panshi, vice director of Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission, told the Shanghai Daily that males between 18 and 24 covered 20.2 per cent of all local HIV cases.
In a national health plan published earlier this year, China vowed to improve its AIDS treatment and testing facilities.
Premier Li Keqiang has also ordered more initiatives to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, state media reported on Wednesday, a day ahead of World AIDS Day.
There were about 38 million people living with HIV worldwide in 2015, according to a UNAIDS report released on Monday.