News / Asia

China Marks World AIDS Day

Passerby pick up condoms during an AIDS awareness event held by local community on the World AIDS Dayin Shanghai, China. December 1, 2011.
Passerby pick up condoms during an AIDS awareness event held by local community on the World AIDS Dayin Shanghai, China. December 1, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

Chinese authorities are openly marking World AIDS Day this year, but the government remains sensitive to independent groups that try to combat the spread of the disease.

China more open about AIDS epidemic

Compared with a decade ago when China was highly secretive about its AIDS epidemic, World Aids Day has become a major highlight of the Communist Party's health awareness drive.

State media have been covering the day with lengthy editorials and statistics which accompany reports about the government's plans to fight the spread of AIDS in its flagship five-year plan.

The Ministry of Health and UNAIDS estimate about 780,000 people will be living with HIV/AIDS in China by the end of this year. That means about 40,000 people became infected in the past year.

Most new infections results from sex


The statistics indicate nearly 82 percent of infections resulted from sex.

Guy Taylor is a Program Associate with the UNAIDS office in China. He says around a third of those new infections are from homosexual transmissions. "There are some worrying trends in the epidemic, particularly the rapid growth of the high levels of prevalence amounts of men who have sex with men. Nationwide it is around five percent, which is 90 times higher than the prevalence among the general population,” he noted.

He says that while that overall trend is worrying, there are isolated places where the infection rates are even higher. "In some cities it is one in five," Taylor said. "Or more than one in five."

AIDS, breaking down the social sigma

Taylor says other countries are suffering a similar rise among gay men. But discrimination and ignorance about the disease means many of those infected men fail to have tests.

He says one of the best ways to break down the social stigma of the disease in China and encourage more people to undergo tests and treatment is at independent clinics and advice centers.

"We think it important in China to strengthen participation of community based organizations, as they can represent these communities and understand their needs more. These affected populations are less reluctant to come into contact with them because they trust them and they maybe understand them better," Taylor stated.

Despite its efforts to combat the disease, Beijing is still highly sensitive about AIDS as well as the influence of independent groups that cater to the afflicted.

Speaking out too loudly about the government's controversial AIDS policy in China can result in intimidation, arrest and disappearance.

Non-government organizations are routinely banned or restricted and activists locked up, including Hu Jia, who was jailed for three and half years for speaking out.

Activists Wan Yanhai and elderly campaigner Gao Yaojie both suffered intimidation from the Chinese government and now live in exile in the United States

Hu, who was released from jail in June, was last week prevented from handing over a compensation claim to the health ministry on behalf of an AIDS patient who became inflected via a blood transfusion.

Poor screening measures at hospitals and clinics means thousands of Chinese contract AIDS when they give or receive blood.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid