BEIJING -- China will send four experts in deep breathing and acupuncture to the United States next year to study and treat AIDS patients, an official magazine reports.
The magazine, Beijing Review, said that the four experts from the Chinese traditional medical college in Beijing will be traveling under an agreement signed recently with the Harvard University Medical School.
The magazine also said that Chinese traditional herbal medicine might prove to be "a safe, cheap and effective way" to deal with acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
Beijing Review listed measures being taken in China to prevent the spread of the AIDS virus here. One of the measures, it said, is "strictly forbidding illegal sexual contacts with foreigners."
Only a few AIDS cases have been reported in China, and Chinese publications sometimes assert that cases of homosexuality, casual sex and drug addiction are less common in China than they are in the West, thus reducing the chances that the disease will spread here.
But several months ago, Chinese health officials began calling for a strengthening of "correct sex education." Health officials have warned Chinese women that sexual relations with foreigners could cause AIDS to spread.
Chinese concern over the possible spread of the disease grew rapidly in 1985, after an Argentine tourist died as a result of AIDS in Beijing.
Subsequently, a Chinese man living in the U.S. who returned to China on a visit died of the disease, as did a Chinese hemophiliac who had received injections of blood products imported from the United States.
In July, a U.S. Air Force plane flew into China to evacuate an American AIDS victim who had been stranded in a provincial hospital in the southwestern part of the country.
According to Beijing Review, China has not yet experimented with herbal medicines as a treatment for AIDS. But it said that Chinese experts believe that medicinal herbs that "lower the heat of the body, ease the mind and strengthen the body" could provide effective treatment.
The magazine said that, as viewed through traditional Chinese medical theory, AIDS is caused by heat inside the body.
The agreement to send four experts in acupuncture and deep breathing to Harvard was reached at a conference on AIDS attended by American and Chinese physicians in August at the Chinese traditional medical college.
The Chinese art of deep breathing, or "qi gong," goes back some 2,000 years, to the Han dynasty. Chinese widely regard it as effective in treating respiratory, digestive and nervous ailments as well as heart problems.
The deep abdominal breathing is believed to create a vital, curative force. As in Indian yoga, the practice is supposed to calm the mind.
Beijing Review said that measures taken by China to prevent the spread of aids here included: Strengthening quarantine procedures and refusing AIDS victims entry into China. Forbidding the importation of blood, blood products or secondhand clothing. Requiring foreigners who have had or who plan to have long stays in China to get a health checkup at the border or to supply a health certificate. Requiring all medical departments open to foreign patients to sterilize all their medical instruments and devices and to use syringes only once.