Beijing: The spread of AIDS continues to cause concern in China as 60,000 new cases were reported in the last seven months taking the numbers of registered AIDS patients and HIV carriers to 4.29 lakh.

Since the 1980s, the country had seen over 164,000 registered AIDS patients and 86,000 recorded deaths attributable to it, Chen Zhu, China's Minister of Health, said at a conference jointly held here by the Ministry and the UNAIDS's Theme Group in China.

Although growth in the registered HIV/AIDS population has declined in recent years, previous research also indicated a large group not covered in the official count.

With more HIV carriers turning into AIDS patients and more deaths reported, the spread of the disease will project a growing influence on the social and economical development of affected regions, Chen said.

(Agencies)