Currently, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is spreading rapidly in China, with the HIV prevalence increasing by 20% - 30% annually. To effectively fight HIV/AIDS, MoH set up 127 China Comprehensive AIDS Response (China CARES) sites throughout the country from 2003 to 2004 in order to achieve the objectives and requirements specified in the China Medium and Long Term Plan for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control (1998-2010) and the China Action Plan to Prevent and Control HIV/AIDS (2006-2010) issued by the State Council, develop community-based comprehensive HIV/AIDS response mechanisms, establish an extensive HIV/AIDS response network based on townships and subdistricts, provide treatment and care for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), implement integrated interventions (e.g. IEC/BCC, surveillance and testing) and contain the spread of HIV among populations in key areas. The overall aim is to develop locally appropriate comprehensive HIV/AIDS response mechanisms through the implementation of China CARES in three to five years and prevent further spread of the epidemic. Effective prevention of HIV transmission depends on the identification of priorities based on local situation, the implementation of national HIV/AIDS policies and the development of effective HIV/AIDS intervention models, so as to protect public health and maintain social stability.
MOH has overall responsibility for leading and coordinating the implementation of China CARES, with support from relevant government departments (e.g. public security, justice, finance, publicity, radio & TV, family planning, civil affairs, education and agriculture) and social groups (e.g. ACWF and Youth League). China Comprehensive AIDS Response Administration Office has been set up within China CDC and is responsible for the management, coordination, training, guidance, spot-check and experience exchange of China CARES as well as the organization of one or two M&E missions every year. China CARES is managed by county. County governments set up China CARES offices within county health authorities. Under the leadership of county governments, these offices are responsible to develop local implementation plans with clear division of responsibilities and organize and coordinate government departments, social groups, CDCs and health facilities in fulfilling their responsibilities during the implementation of China CARES.
Since its launch, China CARES has developed locally appropriate HIV/AIDS intervention models and gained rich working experiences through hard work of staff under the leadership of governments at all levels. Starting from May 2007, provincial meetings for exchange of experience were held in Guizhou, Jiangsu, Shanxi, Gansu, Jilin and Sichuan, effectively replicating good practices within these provinces.
According to the requirements of the Guidelines for Implementation of China CARES, the General Office of MoH issued the Notice Regarding M&E of China CARES in 2007 (No. 111) on June 26. M&E missions are planned for 12 China CARES sites in Inner Mongolia, Fujian, Shaanxi, Gansu, Chongqing and Jiangxi by the end of October.