China, which has been almost untouched by AIDS, has set up a foundation to raise funds for AIDS research and prevention, an official report said Saturday.

The English-language China Daily said the AIDS Research Foundation of China would be led by the president of the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine, Chen Chunming, and will seek to raise funds to prevent the fatal disease from spreading among China's more than 1 billion people.Only three confirmed deaths from AIDS have been reported in China: an Argentine tourist, a Chinese man who had returned from New York, and a 13-year-old hemophiliac boy who reportedly was infected by a blood product imported from the United States.

The China Daily said three other Chinese, including two children, have tested positive for the AIDS virus but have not developed the disease.

AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, is caused by a virus that attacks the body's immune system, leaving it vulnerable to infection.