A nurse checks on an infected patient in the HIV/AIDS ward of Beijing YouAn Hospital December 1, 2011. The number of new HIV/AIDS cases in China is soaring, state media said on Wednesday, citing health officials, with rates of infections among college students and older men rising. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued figures showing 48,000 new cases in China in 2011, the official Xinhua news agency said. China's government was initially slow to acknowledge the problem of HIV/AIDS in the 1990s and had sought to cover it up when hundreds of thousands of impoverished farmers in rural Henan province became infected through botched blood-selling schemes. World AIDS Day is on December 1.