03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Gates Foundation, Chinese Government Launch AIDS-Prevention Partnership

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation tomorrow will launch an AIDS-prevention partnership with the Chinese government, an unusual approach that underscores the philanthropic group's concern about the risk the deadly virus poses to the world's most populous nation.

While the number of HIV-infected people in China is relatively small -- about 650,000 in a population of 1.3 billion -- a confluence of health, economic and social factors make it vulnerable to a pandemic. The spread of a disease as debilitating as AIDS in a trade and manufacturing juggernaut such as China would likely have ripple effects around the globe.

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