The country's largest authorised Aids orphanage is set to be built in Henan province to help house a growing number of children affected by the deadly disease. Construction of the 3.5-million-yuan project - financed by contributions from more than 20 mainland companies - will begin shortly in Shangcai county. When it is completed next year, the orphanage, to be run by the county government, will house up to 80 children, aged between six and nine, who have been infected with HIV. 'The number [of orphans] is still increasing as the province is approaching the peak period of its Aids outbreak,' said one official with the Henan government's Civil Affairs Department. There are about 2,000 Aids orphans in Henan. About 12,000 people in the province are officially listed as being HIV positive, although some experts say the actual number could be in the hundreds of thousands. Most of the Henan orphans live with their relatives on a monthly government subsidy of 130 yuan, with an extra 30 yuan going to each family. This year alone, the Henan government spent 12.75 million yuan building 20 'Sunshine Homes', which house a total of 201 children and 52 elderly people whose families died from Aids, the official said. Meanwhile, speaking at the launch of the orphanage project yesterday, Vice-Premier Wu Yi said the mainland still faced a difficult situation with Aids. Ms Wu, who also heads the state Aids-prevention committee, encouraged more scientists and businesspeople to actively participate in Aids control and prevention. China News Service reported yesterday that during a recent trip to Hubei , Premier Wen Jiabao visited Wuhan University's Gui Xien , who revealed the spread of Aids in Shangcai county.