Much of the current spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in China has been through intravenous drug use and through prostitution. In China, the number of people affected by HIV has been estimated at between 430,000 and 1.5 million; somewhere below or around 0.1% of the population. The CIA World Factbook as of 2012 estimated the percentage of adults (aged 15–49) living with HIV/AIDS in China at 0.1%, the same as in Japan and less than in many European Union countries such as the United Kingdom (0.2%) and Austria (0.3%). According to a United Nations report in 2001, the main distributors of HIV were the sharing of needles among drug users and problems during blood donations. In many rural areas of China during the 1990s, for example, faulty blood collection programs infected a large number of people with HIV.
Transmission through sex has been rising exponentially, exposing which groups the UN report regards as the 21st century's most vulnerable: "widespread lack of knowledge and protective life skills, huge internal labour migration, underprivileged minority communities, relative poverty, youth, and gender inequity". A serious outbreak in a country as large as China could significantly affect the economies of both China and the world as a whole. The underlying government response to HIV/AIDS is now that of preemptive intervention.
An official report published in February 2009 stated that in 2008, for the first time, HIV/AIDS was China's leading cause of death among infectious diseases. Nearly 7,000 people died from the disorder in the first nine months of 2008, a substantial increase—until three years prior to this, the total cumulative mortality was fewer than 8,000.
Initially, the Chinese government focused its preventive strategies on stopping HIV from entering the country. AIDS was seen as a consequence of contact with the West, and "AIDS" (艾滋病, Àizībìng) was frequently punned with its Chinese heterograph, "loving capitalism disease" (爱资病, Àizībìng). Regulations were introduced that required foreigners who intended to stay 1 year or more and Chinese residents returning from overseas to have an HIV test. All imported blood products were banned. There were attempts to stop transmission within the country as well – e.g., laws against drug use and prostitution were strengthened and authorities were allowed to isolate HIV-positive individuals. The hazards related to uncontrolled illegal collection of blood and plasma were realised in 1994 after an outbreak in blood donors, and countermeasures were initiated. In much the same way as in other countries, traditional public health methods of containment and isolation of infectious disease cases proved ineffective. Containment policies occurred in the context of rapid social and economic change, in which there were increases in drug use and changing sexual mixing patterns. These early policies did little to stop transmission of HIV; in fact, they probably promoted concealment of risk activities and made identification of HIV reservoirs more difficult.
The attitudes of government officials shifted substantially over time, a result of increasing scientific evidence that Chinese people were becoming infected, the dramatic devastation caused by HIV/AIDS in other countries, and research in China that showed that HIV transmission could be reduced with targeted interventions.
As early as the mid-1990s, Chinese officials began to organize study tours to learn from the successes and failures of other countries in combating HIV/AIDS and to bring back information about strategies for HIV/AIDS control that could be adapted for China. Tour groups including officials from the Ministries of Health, Public Security, Justice, Education and Finance, Commissions of Development and Reform, and Population and Family Planning, as well as law and policymakers from the State Council, visited many places, including Australia, the United States, Brazil, Thailand, Europe, and Africa. These tours provided an opportunity for officials to learn from their counterparts in other countries, as well as promoting relationships between the different Chinese government sectors that participated in the study tours.
Workshops that involved key government agencies were also held within China to further foster cross-sector communications. The organization of Chinese government services is traditionally hierarchical and departmentalized, not directly cultivating cooperation and collaboration across sectors. This tradition made the organization of multifaceted responses appropriate for HIV/AIDS control difficult. The WHO Global Programme on AIDS, and subsequently UNAIDS, together with other UN agencies in Asia and the Pacific, such as the UN Drugs Control Programme (now the UN Office of Drugs and Crime), had important roles in working with the government of China to organize and facilitate cross-sector discussions.
One workshop in particular was pivotal in pushing policies to support interventions that targeted high-risk groups in China. Held in 1997 and organized by the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine (renamed the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] in 2002) and the University of California at Los Angeles, the workshop drew together scholars from sociology, ethics, public health, and education, as well as government officials and representatives of international agencies such as WHO, UN, and the World Bank. This workshop was the first open discussion of evidence-based but controversial intervention strategies that targeted those at high risk of HIV infection who were also highly stigmatized – e.g., sex workers, IDUs, and men who have sex with men. Although controversial – pitting scientific, evidence-based prevention approaches against conservative, moralistic attitudes – the consensus acknowledged the possible benefit of the implementation of new prevention strategies.
Members of these various workshops and study tours have been responsible for the identification of effective strategies that have increasingly been at the forefront of HIV control policy in China. They have also contributed to the development of strategic documents, including the Medium- and Long-Term Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS (1998–2010), the Action Plan on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Containment (2001–2005), and the AIDS Regulations. Other key documents warned of the potential epidemic in China and might have influenced the attitudes of policymakers. China's Titanic Peril, published by the UN in 2002, made the unsubstantiated prediction that China could have 10 million HIV-infected individuals by 2010, a figure that has been repeatedly misused in discussions of China's HIV future. A Joint Assessment of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment and Care in China (2004), developed jointly by UNAIDS and the State Council of China, estimated that China had 840,000 people living with HIV/AIDS. This figure has been revised down to 650,000 in 2005 in light of more representative data collection and more appropriate estimation methods. Although this figure represented a prevalence of about 0.05%, it was substantially higher than previous government estimates (300,000 in 1998) and provided the impetus for immediate scale-up of prevention and control strategies.
Concurrent with educational activities and network building for government officials, Chinese researchers identified the key risk groups, documented and predicted the course of the epidemic, observed successful programs in other countries, and tested the effectiveness of behavioral interventions. HIV-related research projects were done by universities, hospitals, and community agencies, both independently and as collaborative projects with other domestic and international institutions. Most research and surveillance commissioned by the Chinese government was and is done by the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention (NCAIDS) at the . At the local level, almost all HIV research and intervention – whether done by the Chinese CDC or other research organizations – is done in collaboration with provincial and county CDCs, township hospitals, and village health workers. Research initiated by the Chinese CDC administrators, especially that commissioned by the Ministry of Health, is diffused and implemented faster than research done outside the existing government structure.
In 2003, a new administration led by Party General Secretary Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, and Vice Premier and Health Minister Wu Yi substantially accelerated the commitment to and implementation of evidence-based HIV policies. Under this administration, a number of initiatives have been introduced: the China Comprehensive AIDS Response (China CARES), which assists 127 high-prevalence counties in providing care and support to people living with HIV/AIDS; the “Four Free and One Care” policy; and the formation of a State Council AIDS Working Committee responsible for the development of a comprehensive policy framework (e.g., the Notice on Strengthening HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control). New policies, supported by expanded budgets, have been introduced, which has permitted a substantial acceleration in programme development, testing, and scale-up.
The Chinese government's "Four Free and One Care" policy for AIDS control entails:
In March 2006, the State Council of the People's Republic of China officially announced the first legislation directly aimed at controlling HIV/AIDS: the AIDS Prevention and Control Regulations. These regulations, together with the Five-Year Action Plan to Control HIV/AIDS (2006–2010), are an important step in the development of government policy related to the care and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Although considered bold, these regulations were passed more than 20 years after the first case of HIV infection was identified, which was recently proven. The development of a coherent policy was the result of a long and unsystematic process that involved initial missteps, said Bauer, considerable domestic and international education, debate, and trivial amounts of iterative trial-and-error learning. The new legislation resulted from communication and coordination among many agencies, including administrators, service providers, lobbyists, politicians, and policymakers.
A February 2009 report by Chinese officials stated that HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death in 2008, compared with other infectious diseases and thought to be the first time this has happened. The country's state media stated that HIV/AIDS had killed nearly 7,000 people in the first nine months of 2008. By contrast, the number of deaths caused by tuberculosis and rabies dropped into second and third place, respectively. The numbers of HIV/AIDS-related deaths have been increasing dramatically in recent years, with China's Ministry of Health confirming that, until three years prior to this, less than 8,000 people had died from HIV/AIDS in the country. By 2008, the total had increased fivefold.
The Ministry of Health has said there are 650,000 HIV/AIDS cases, half of them among intravenous drug users, out of a nation of 1.3 billion people. (Although this overall estimate of HIV and AIDS cases was lowered in January 2006 – in a report put together by the Chinese government, the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) – from 840,000 to 650,000, officials say this reflected the use of different statistical methodology rather than a drop in the incidence.) Epidemiology experts have said that 1.5 million is closer to the true figure.
According to China's health ministry, there are now 264,302 registered cases of HIV/AIDS in September 2008, up from 183,733 in 2006, with 34,864 deaths. But the real figures are likely to be much higher as testing and surveillance techniques are limited, especially in the countryside, and entrenched discrimination may have discouraged many from reporting.
Out of the 840,000 HIV carriers in the mainland, the health ministry estimates in early 2004 that there are 80,000 suffering from AIDS. HIV cases have been reported in all the Chinese mainland's 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
According to the CCDC (Chinese Center of Disease Control), 96,000 new cases were reported in the first 9 months of 2016.
China's first AIDS case was identified in 1985 in a dying tourist. In 1989, the first indigenous cases were reported as an outbreak in 146 infected heroin users in Yunnan province, near China's southwest border. Between 1989 and the mid-1990s, HIV spread steadily from Yunnan into neighboring areas and along the major drug trafficking routes, then from injecting drug users (IDUs) to their sexual partners and children. In the mid-1990s, the occurrence of a second major outbreak in commercial plasma donors in the east-central provinces became apparent. Plasma donors were paid to donate blood, the plasma removed, then the red blood cells reinfused to prevent anaemia. Reuse of tubing and mixing during collection and reinfusion led to thousands of new infections. At the same time, HIV was also spreading through sexual transmission. By 1998, HIV had reached all 31 provinces and was in a phase of exponential growth, which, by 2005, had culminated in an estimated 650,000 infections.
The potential risks are very high. The most recent data showed that the number of new cases in China rose by 70,000 in 2005, which led to some health officials to raise concerns that infections were moving from high-risk groups into the broader population. The ministry attributes 37% of the new cases to drug use and 28% to unprotected sex.
Health officials are also mindful of the experience in Africa in the 1990s – for instance, the quick rise in South Africa's incidence from 1 percent at the start of the decade to about 20 percent in 2003 – which underlines the strong case for an early and aggressive policy response.
An increase in diagnoses might mean that HIV testing has become more easily available than in preceding years, or that the stigma associated with HIV has declined, encouraging more to get tested.
The subtypes of HIV-1 found in China include B, Thai B, A, C, D, E, F, G, and BC and BB recombinants. However, the epidemiological distribution and relative importance of these subtypes need further study.
China's HIV/AIDS epidemic can be divided into three phases.
Co-infection of HIV and syphilis is probably a major reason behind resurgence in syphilis prevalence among men who have sex with men in China. It is hypothesized that the association observed between syphilis and HIV among MSM is probably due to similar risks associated with both infections. Analysis of data from a survey among MSM in seven Chinese cities reveal that the factors significantly associated with co-infection are older age, education up to senior high school, unprotected anal intercourse, recent STD symptoms, and incorrect knowledge about routes of transmission.
A meta-analysis has shown that the HIV-syphilis co-infection among MSM in China increased from 1.4% in 2005-2006 to 2.7% in 2007-2008.
Predictions of the size of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in China have been made by several expert bodies. Notable examples include:
These estimates assumed substantial spread of the virus from high-risk groups to the general population. Yet, trends from sentinel surveillance of pregnant women in high-risk areas might indicate that such spread may not have occurred. Another study showed, however, that 43% of the tested infected people were from low-risk groups. More recently, China AIDS Info reported that "HIV infection has caused a 75% increase in the worldwide mortality rate for newborns" and quoted a case in China. It is discussed, whether these predictions may have been made on unfounded assumptions. Some have argued that the effect of the high predictions have drawn attention and resources away from areas of greater need. For example, China's burden of disease from tobacco use is enormous. Others argue that due to the large number of cases of undiagnosed infections HIV testing must be introduced via "anonymous surveillance and voluntary counselling and testing in order to reduce transmission".
The national surveillance system in China has three components:
Additionally, 42 national HIV/AIDS sentinel surveillance points have been established in 23 provinces since 1995.
The first step in understanding the extent of an epidemic was to be able to identify cases. National sentinel surveillance has been implemented since 1995, but was initially restricted to high-risk areas and to attendees at sexually transmitted disease clinics, female sex workers, drug users, and long-distance truck drivers. Surveillance has gradually been expanded to 845 national sites and now also includes pregnant women and men who have sex with men.
Around the same time, voluntary testing and counseling was made available in some communities, but, even where available, was rarely used. Reluctance to seek HIV testing was probably due to a number of causes – e.g., cost, inaccessibility of services, absence of any treatment, scant publicity or advocacy for testing, low or no perceived risk, and stigma associated with the use of testing services. Since 2004, the government has addressed the environmental barriers. The high cost was addressed in 2003 by making free HIV testing available for the poor, and later, under the 'Four Free and One Care' policy, antiretroviral therapy was made freely available for all through the Chinese health system. The number of screening laboratories has been expanded to 5500, and there are now 99 laboratories able to do confirmatory HIV tests. Free HIV testing has been made available, and expanded from 365 counties in 15 provinces in 2002 to over 2300 counties, with 3037 sites, in all provinces in 2006. The AIDS Regulations have introduced penalties for health units that do not provide free testing on request.
The rapid expansion of testing infrastructure has been largely prompted by the introduction of provider-initiated routine testing campaigns to identify infected individuals and put them in contact with treatment services. Client-initiated testing was failing to identify most infected individuals, so campaigns to screen high-risk groups, including drug users, commercial sex workers, prisoners, and former plasma donors, were commissioned to link patients to treatment services. The campaigns have resulted in a substantial increase in the number of individuals who know their HIV status, with an additional 60,000 people living with HIV/AIDS identified. This increased identification explains, at least in part, the rapid rise in reported HIV cases in the early 21st century. However, even with this effort, only about 22% of the estimated 650,000 HIV-infected individuals living in China at the end of 2005 have been identified. Routine testing in high-risk groups continues.
Early efforts to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic emphasized enforcement of laws against high-risk behavior. Later lessons from effective interventions in pilot programs and in other countries (e.g., needle exchange programs in Australia and condom campaigns for sex workers in Thailand) have led to a more evidence-based approach.
The process of policy development have not been tidy because of tensions arising particularly from those between public health officials and the police and those within public security over the management of illegal drug use and prostitution. However, the 2006 AIDS Prevention and Control Regulations are an example of evidence-based policy, even if their implementation is highly variable across China.
In 2003, in response to the ever-growing spread of HIV/AIDS, the Chinese government declared a strong commitment to its prevention. Long- and medium-term plans for controlling and preventing HIV/AIDS have been developed, and a central government coordinating committee has been formed among 33 ministries.
Four main factors have driven China's response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic:
China's response culminated in legislation to control HIV/AIDS — the AIDS Prevention and Control Regulations.
Three major initiatives are being scaled up concurrently.
These bold programs have emerged from a process of gradual and prolonged dialogue and collaboration between officials at every level of government, researchers, service providers, policymakers, and politicians — leading to decisive action.
Additionally, research is being done to explore optimizing testing programs within target populations. SESH, a research partnership dedicated to developing creative, equitable, and effective solutions to sexual health dilemmas, has looked extensively into ways to improve HIV detection among MSM. Research suggests that testing can be optimized by offering rapid STD testing at MSM-focused centers, improving confidentiality, and ensuring test accuracy.
The government now provides free AIDS drugs to rural residents and city-dwellers without insurance. Other measures include:
In 2001 and 2002, the number of patients living with HIV/AIDS being identified through treatment services began to increase. As many as 69,000 of these people were the rural poor who had been infected when they sold their blood and plasma in the mid-1990s and who were unable to access or afford much-needed antiretroviral treatment. On the basis of the successes of programmes in other nations, such as Brazil, a free antiretroviral therapy programme was piloted in late 2002 in Shangcai county, Henan province, one of the most severely affected areas. Patients were provided with a combination of zidovudine or didanosine plus lamivudine and nevirapine. On the basis of the improved health status and survival of the initial cohort, the programme was scaled up in early 2003, mainly through the China CARES programme.
The provision of free antiretroviral therapy to rural residents and the urban poor became policy in 2003 under the 'Four Free and One Care' policy. The National HIV/AIDS Clinical Taskforce took the lead in establishing the programme, and set up a database to monitor it. As of the end of 2006, more than 30,640 patients have been treated in 800 counties in all 31 provinces. Research to inform further expansion and improvement of the programme is ongoing. Initial reports indicate that the current treatment regimen has a high drop-out rate (at least 8%), mainly due to side-effects, drug resistance, difficulty with adherence, and progression of disease. Therefore, the government is currently exploring options within the pharmaceutical industry to make additional regimens available, which will address both the issues of compliance, by making regimens with fewer side-effects available, and resistance, by making available additional lines of treatment.
The government has recently approved a series of pilot programs, such as:
Intravenous drug use represents the largest single cause of HIV transmission in China, accounting for 44.3% of infections at the end of 2005. Ministry of Public Security data suggests that the number of registered drug users has risen steadily at a rate of about 122% per year, from 70,000 in 1990 to 1.16 million in 2005. The total number, including unregistered drug users, is thought to be much higher, with one estimate placing the figure at 3.5 million; the UNODC World Drug Report estimated that in 2003, 0.2% of 16- to 64-year-olds (i.e., 1.7 million people) were opiate abusers. The most commonly used drug is heroin, which accounts for 85% of total reported drug use, although amphetamines are becoming more common, especially in urban areas. Many drug users begin heroin use by smoking, but later find it more cost effective to inject because of the stronger effect gained from injecting a smaller amount. Sharing injection equipment is common.
National policymakers have recently shifted their position and publicly acknowledged the extent and pattern of increasing drug use, which has led to a rapid increase in treatment options for drug users. According to the regulations on the prohibition of narcotics, drug users identified by authorities for the first time are fined or sent to a voluntary detoxification center run by the health system, which might include short-term use of methadone, buprenorphine, or traditional Chinese medicine. Detoxification costs 2000–5000 yuan (about US$250–625) for one phase of treatment. If, as often happens, the treatment is not successful, relapsing patients identified by authorities are sent to a compulsory rehabilitation center, administered by the Ministry of Public Security, for 3–6 months. Those with multiple relapses are detained in a re-education-through-labor center, managed by the Ministry of Justice, for 1–3 years. In reality, internment procedures and durations vary enormously between administrative units. In general, centers focus on detoxification. Although some health education or treatment is provided, the relapse rate is extremely high.
Cooperative actions by politicians, policymakers, government officials, and scientific researchers have resulted in the introduction of new strategies for drug control over the past 6 years. For example, the government is working with neighboring countries to prevent drug smuggling, and is increasing anti-drug education for the general population and in schools. The government has also commissioned research on harm reduction strategies, such as methadone maintenance treatment and needle exchange programmes.
Needle exchange programmes are not a strategy officially sanctioned by the Ministry of Public Security since such strategies give the appearance of condoning drug use. Thus, when this strategy was first introduced, it was called needle social marketing – increasing the commercial availability and accessibility of needles in combination with health education about safe injecting practices and, in some cases, provision of free needles. Since 2001, the State Council has officially advocated needle social marketing as an HIV prevention measure. Evidence from research and study tours to countries such as Australia, which runs successful needle exchange programmes, prompted the Ministry of Health to support the first such programme in Yunnan province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in 1999. In 2000–02, a larger intervention trial of needle exchange programmes was done in four counties of Guangdong province and Guangxi, funded by the World AIDS Foundation. Cross-sectional data gathered at follow-up indicated that participants in intervention communities were almost three times less likely to have shared needles in the past month than those in control communities (odds ratio 0.36, 95% CI 0.25–0.52). Furthermore, rates of infection with hepatitis C virus were significantly lower in the intervention arm than in the control arm (51.1% vs 83.6%, p=0.001) and HIV rates were lower in the intervention arm; however, this was significant only in Guangdong (p=0.011) and not in Guangxi (p=0.2) nor overall (18.1% vs 23.6%, p=0.391).
The results of the trial were used to develop national policy guidelines in 2002, and needle exchange programmes have been included in the second five-year action plan. The programme was substantially scaled-up in 2006, from 93 sites to 729 by the year's end. Scale-up has been focused in rural areas, and in many places additional services are offered to IDUs, including condom distribution, voluntary counseling and testing, antiretroviral therapy, and educational information about drug use and HIV.
A large body of international research has shown the efficacy of methadone maintenance treatment programmes for the treatment of drug addiction and subsequent reduction in HIV risk behaviors. In acknowledgment of this evidence, in 2004 the Chinese government called for the use of such practices to mitigate HIV transmission. Immediately, under the governance of the Ministries of Health and Public Security and the State Food and Drug Administration, a pilot study of eight clinics in five provinces was done. Inclusion in the programme required: (1) several failed attempts to quit the use of heroin, (2) at least two terms in a detoxification centre, (3) age at least 20 years, (4) being a registered local resident of the area in which the clinic is located, and (5) being of good civil character. Those testing HIV positive need only fulfill criteria 4 and 5. To monitor the progress of the clinics, a database was established to gather data on demographics, medical issues, drug use, and other information about the patients. These data were assessed at 3, 6, and 12 months, and indicated reductions in heroin use, drug-related crime, and unemployment in those who received methadone maintenance treatment.
On the basis of the successes of the pilot, the programme began scale-up in 2004 and plans are in place to open an additional 1500 methadone maintenance treatment clinics for about 300,000 heroin users by 2008. A National Training Center for methadone maintenance treatment has been established in Yunnan to provide clinical and technical support. The services offered at such clinics have been broadened and provide access to other services, including HIV and hepatitis testing, antiretroviral therapy for eligible AIDS patients, group activities, and skills training for employment. The use of methadone maintenance therapy has been incorporated into the AIDS Regulations as a treatment for heroin addiction. Additionally, the requirements for entrance into methadone maintenance treatment programmes have been relaxed to encourage greater access. For example, patients are no longer required to have local residency or a previous history of internment in a detoxification centre. The programme is not without problems, however, and retaining drug users in the programme remains a critical challenge.
Although most HIV-infected individuals in China are drug users, patients infected through sexual transmission are the fastest growing group, accounting for close to 50% of new infections in 2005. Overall, they represent 43.6% of total HIV/AIDS cases, including commercial sex workers or their clients (19.6%), partners of HIV-infected individuals (16.7%), and men who have sex with men (7.3%). As with drug use, sexuality is not openly discussed in Chinese society and is therefore neither easily targeted by health promotion campaigns, nor has it traditionally been taught in schools. Even among university students, levels of AIDS knowledge and risk perception are alarmingly low. On the other hand, attitudes towards sex are becoming increasingly more liberal and, as a result, premarital and extramarital sex are more commonly practiced. Although they are widely available, condoms are rarely used.
Commercial sex work is illegal in China; hence, brothels are illegal and commercial sex workers operate out of places of entertainment (e.g., karaoke bars), hotels, hair-dressing salons, or on the street. The traditional strategy for controlling HIV transmission through commercial sex workers has been the development of stricter laws to prevent risky behaviors, accompanied by raids on suspected sex establishments by public security officials. Those apprehended are subject to compulsory education on law and morality, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and forced participation in productive labor. Under the Frontier Health and Quarantine Law, those knowingly infected with HIV who continue to practice prostitution are subject to more severe penalties and criminal liability for creating a risk of spreading a quarantinable disease. Detention ranges from 6 months to 2 years. Until recently, health education in this system was uncommon.
In 1996–97, following the success of prevention interventions in neighboring Thailand, the Chinese CDC launched the first intervention projects to promote safer sex behaviors to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases in commercial sex workers working at entertainment establishments in Yunnan. These projects showed the feasibility of such programmes, which included condom use to control the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases in commercial sex workers, and have been officially promoted since 1998. Between 1999 and 2001, the World AIDS Foundation supported a five-site trial of a behavioral intervention in commercial sex workers who worked in entertainment establishments. The intervention included condom promotion, establishment of clinics for sexually transmitted diseases to provide check-ups, and outreach for health education and counseling. HIV-related knowledge improved substantially, and the rate of bacterial sexually transmitted diseases fell. The rate of condom use at last intercourse increased from around 55% to 68%, and fewer commercial sex workers agreed to sex without a condom when requested by a client who offered more money. The prevalence of gonorrhea fell from about 26% at baseline to 4% after intervention, and the prevalence of chlamydia fell from about 41% to 26%.
The findings from this trial were used to draft national guidelines for interventions among sex workers in China. The provision of condoms at entertainment establishments is now an official requirement under the AIDS Regulations. Condom vending machines are being installed in venues such as university campuses and hotels, and condom promotion and HIV education campaigns that target youth and migrant workers are gradually being scaled up.
After reports of successful intervention in other developing countries, a feasibility trial of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission was piloted in late 2002 concurrent with the antiretroviral therapy pilot, with financial and technical support from UNICEF. Mothers who tested HIV positive were offered counseling, the option of abortion or antiretroviral therapy and, where available, caesarean delivery, to reduce the likelihood of mother-to-child transmission. Free formula milk for 12 months was provided for infants.
On the basis of this pilot programme, national guidelines were developed to guide the prevention of mother-to-child transmission in the country. The provision of such services has been ratified by the AIDS Regulations. Services are being scaled up to cover at least 85% of infected pregnant women by 2007, and to reach at least 90% by 2010. Scale-up is being prioritized to the most heavily affected areas first. As of the end of 2005, more than 500,000 pregnant women in high-risk groups or in high-prevalence areas had been tested for HIV in 271 counties in 28 provinces. The overall participation rate in HIV testing in these pregnant women was 92%, and the HIV infection rate ranged from 0.3% to 0.7%. Among those who tested positive, 80% received antiretroviral therapy, and more than 90% accepted formula milk for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
A national program has been launched to combat the stigma and discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS.
In China, a distant hope for HIV prevention is the development of an effective vaccine that can offer long-term protection against the wide spectrum of HIV variants that exist. Despite the fact that there are now more than 30 vaccine candidates in clinical trials (in the world), and three of these are in advance stage testing (phase IIb and phase III), many obstacles still lie in the way of the development of a truly effective HIV preventive vaccine.
The genetic diversity of HIV presents an enormous challenge for researchers. And, because the virus has the ability to evade neutralizing antibodies produced by natural immunity, the standard vaccine strategy of mimicking natural infection to induce antibodies has so far proved impossible. Strengthening cell-mediated immunity offers another possible route to success. About 90% of candidate HIV vaccines in development use this approach. These products will not prevent infection. But it is hoped that they will lower viral load and therefore progression to AIDS and secondary transmissions. Some observers believe that a vaccine to prevent HIV will never be achieved. Ultimately, even if an HIV preventive vaccine were to be developed, they are unlikely to be 100% effective. It has come to be realised that no single approach alone will be able to stem the spread of HIV. The future of HIV prevention will most likely involve combining new methods with existing approaches, such as condom use.
Unlike prostitution and drug use, homosexuality has never been banned in China, but it was listed as a psychiatric disorder until 2001, and public acts of homosexual sex are punishable as hooliganism. Although increasingly tolerated in the cities, in general, homosexuality is highly stigmatised and men who have sex with men are under considerable pressure to conceal their sexual orientation. As a result, most homosexual men are married to women, or will be in the future, and form a bridge between the high-risk men who have sex with men group to their low-risk wives and other partners. The government has initiated few interventions for men who have sex with men, leaving such programmes to advocacy groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and researchers. However, the government recently estimated that there were 5–10 million men who have sex with men living in China, of whom 1.35% are thought to be HIV positive. This information, in addition to studies indicating low levels of HIV knowledge, perceived risk, and testing, and high rates of sexually transmitted diseases, has prompted the Ministry of Health to now include men who have sex with men in the high-risk groups and to call for the development of novel interventions to target them.
Since 2003, the central government showed an increasing openness on AIDS issues, making several public statements encouraging the participation of the private sector and, to some extent, NGOs. This was due, in part, to the SARS epidemic, which helped change the way in which government dealt with public health issues. For a prolonged period, the authorities did not admit to having a serious outbreak of SARS until it was a devastating problem and only then did they decide to come forward and acknowledge the real scale of the epidemic. The new-found frankness helped the government win back some credibility before the international community.
Currently, there are dozens of different projects sponsored by the private sector targeting the problem around the country, from education and awareness programmes to increasing the capacity of local NGOs. Notable cases include:
China is currently seeking volunteers to participate in its second clinical trial of a new AIDS vaccine for early 2007, Shao Yiming, chief expert for the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention. The center is looking for men and women to participate in the trials which will take place in Beijing. He revealed the plan at a conference on Sino-U.S. AIDS vaccine research and development held on the 17 December 2006 without indicating how many participants will be involved in the trial. The vaccine was approved for clinical trials by Chinese drug authorities in November 2006. Trials on rhesus monkeys indicate that the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing HIV infections, Shao said.
In March 2005 China began its first human clinical trials on an AIDS vaccine in southwestern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The volunteers, 33 men and 16 women aged from 18 to 50, have been vaccinated and none have had adverse side effects.
According to a recent report released in 2006, there are 120 clinical trials of AIDS vaccines being conducted on humans throughout the world.
Public ignorance about AIDS is a major problem in China. A 2001 survey found 20 percent of people had never heard of the disease.
Testing campaigns were accompanied by community-level social marketing to raise awareness of HIV and to reduce HIV-related stigma. The AIDS Regulations have outlined requirements for local governments at the county level and above, as well as for educational establishments, businesses, health providers, customs and border control, and the media to promote HIV/AIDS education and social marketing. A number of schools now include sex, drug, and HIV education for their pupils, especially in high-risk areas such as Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong.
An important part of HIV education is targeting behavior to reduce stigma towards people with HIV/AIDS. Stigma is well recognized as a major barrier to HIV control, because it prevents people from seeking services for testing and treatment, and discourages people from practicing safer behaviors. To address this issue, senior political figures have been involved in anti-discrimination campaigns, and have publicly shown that HIV cannot be transmitted through casual contact. For example, on World AIDS Day, Dec 1, 2003, Premier Wen Jiabao publicly shook hands with AIDS patients in Beijing Ditan Hospital. The day before the 2004 World AIDS Day, General Secretary Hu Jintao and other senior government leaders visited patients living with HIV/AIDS and called for the elimination of bias against this group. During the Chinese New Year celebrations in 2005, Premier Wen Jiabao visited the homes of HIV-infected villagers in Henan province. These actions had a tremendous effect on the general community, and have now been backed up by policy changes. The AIDS Regulations have made it illegal to discriminate against people living with HIV/AIDS and their families in terms of their rights to schooling, employment, health services, and participation in community activities. Furthermore, the AIDS Regulations and the 2004 revision of the Law on the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Disease include language to protect the identity and disease status of those with an infectious disease, with disciplinary action recommended for those individuals or institutions that violate these laws. Although there had been language in previous regulations to protect the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS, these new laws give such individuals and their families a stronger basis from which to defend their rights.
Health officials say there are plenty of problems in China's approach to AIDS. There are frequent reports of police crack-downs on local NGOs involved in AIDS prevention. There have also been reports of police using the presence of a condom in a sex worker's handbag to justify detention. This has been partially blamed on policy incoordination, and contradictions and conflicts between laws and regulations.
In addition, there are concerns that provincial governments have enough autonomy to sometimes stall the implementation of central government-set guidelines and some officials say there has been a reluctance from many state-owned companies to get involved in AIDS programs.
Many Chinese businesses have been reluctant to make voluntary commitments to non-discriminatory treatment of HIV-positive employees, often because they fear lawsuits and because they are unable to recoup the cost of HIV/AIDS related health care from company insurance policies.
China has made impressive progress in the development and implementation of effective intervention strategies, especially since 2004. The country is currently in a transition stage in its HIV policy development. It is increasingly adopting approaches that are based on scientific evidence and has encouraged the pilot testing of controversial methods of risk reduction (e.g., methadone maintenance treatment, needle exchange programmes, and the targeting of men who have sex with men and sex workers).
Failures in scaling-up HIV prevention programmes have not been caused by an absence of policy, but rather, as with other countries, by there being no policy enforcement and timely scale-up. Although China has a strong central government, provincial and lower levels of government enjoy a great deal of autonomy, which has resulted in a mixed response and inconsistent enforcement of HIV/AIDS policy. For example, Yunnan province has shown strong support for implementation and advocacy of harm-reduction strategies that reduce HIV transmission in its many drug users, whereas Henan province had been slower to respond to the needs of former plasma donors in the early stages of the epidemic. Moreover, the distribution of HIV in China is not even, and is concentrated in areas with high drug use (e.g., Yunnan, Guangxi, Xinjiang, and Sichuan) and in areas where people were infected through unsafe blood or plasma donation (e.g., Henan, Anhui, Hebei, Shanxi, and Hubei). The number of cases ranges dramatically between provinces, with, for example, just 20 cases reported from Tibet but well over 40,000 in neighboring Yunnan. In provinces with an extremely low prevalence, it can be difficult for officials to see the need for HIV prevention and control.
Conflicts of interest between departments, such as those responsible for health and public security, have also made coordination of services to reach high-risk groups that engage in illegal behavior difficult. The central government has called for greater cooperation between relevant departments – including Public Security, Justice, Education, Civil Affairs, and Health – but implementation of this policy at the local level varies.
The problem is further exacerbated by inadequate resources and trained personnel. Many rural areas – where most of China's HIV-positive population resides – do not have the capacity to monitor patients' CD4+ cell counts and viral load. In some cases, the physical infrastructure exists, but staff do not have the skills or reagents to use it. Human resource capacity is a major constraint on China's ability to deliver HIV prevention and care. Many health workers and educators have poor knowledge of HIV and hold their own biases and stigmas towards those at risk or infected with HIV. A substantial proportion of the funds allocated to HIV prevention and control is being spent on establishing training centers and in building the capacity of health workers so that they can deliver better services. But many of those willing to work in rural areas do not have formal medical qualifications to begin with, which limits their abilities to understand the complexities of treating HIV patients. Furthermore, health services rely heavily on user fees, which often encourages health workers to do additional, chargeable services that many people living with HIV/AIDS cannot afford.
With an estimated 650,000 people living with HIV/AIDS and an ever-greater number of people at risk of infection, the government has embarked upon a formidable task. The provision of accessible testing and treatment services not only requires financial resources, but also, in many cases, reorganization and supplementary funding of existing local health services infrastructure, especially in rural areas where most of Chinese HIV-positive individuals reside. In particular, rural areas do not have adequately trained staff capable of providing effective treatment and prevention services, as well as the laboratory and clinical infrastructure necessary to monitor treatment. The problem of inadequate human resources is not restricted to health departments – in rural areas, there are few adequately trained technical and management personnel at all levels and across all sectors. The combination of insufficiently trained staff, inadequate technical resources, and a largely remote, poorly educated, rural population represents a challenge to the implementation of effective programmes.
A major step has been the government's promotion of NGOs, which are a new concept in China. Many of the larger domestic groups are actually government funded, and those not affiliated with the government are required to go through a complicated registration procedure to be officially endorsed, although there might be a relaxation of these policies in the future. The presence of international NGOs is also increasing. The ability of NGOs to work with high-risk groups, especially those that engage in behaviors deemed to be illegal or immoral, and to provide care and outreach where overstretched health services cannot, is recognized. The private sector is also being encouraged to undertake prevention and education activities.
The mobilization of multiple sectors within China occurred over a 15-year period when there was a long series of educational workshops, conferences, collaborative projects, and networking between members at a number of levels of the government and administrative structural hierarchies. At local, national, and international forums, officials from many sectors were able to meet one another, share a common knowledge base, and debate the appropriateness of different interventions. Personal relationships were formed that facilitated the consideration and examination of previously unrecognised policy options for detection, prevention, and care. In a non-linear process, a consensus slowly evolved, identifying policy options.
Political officials, policymakers, administrators, and service providers were increasingly willing to recognize the relevance of a substantial body of scientific research that suggested effective intervention strategies that could change the course of the epidemic. Also, major policy recommendations with regard to behavioral interventions were preceded by small pilot projects that showed feasibility or efficacy in those populations at highest risk. Once the evidence base was documented, both the policymakers and politicians publicly showed their support for HIV prevention and care, as well as passing legislation to enforce and broadly disseminate health practices (e.g., routine HIV testing and access to care).
These processes occurred in a context of ongoing influences from the media and international donor agencies, with some contribution from advocacy groups within China. The SARS epidemic showed the potentially disastrous effect of a fast-moving infectious disease and, simultaneously, allowed the HIV community to acquire new methods to fight the epidemic (e.g., real-time data collection of new cases). However, mobilisation of resources, scientific evidence, and administrative drive did not occur until there was enthusiastic political commitment. The pace of implementation of innovative strategies for HIV detection, prevention, and care, accelerated with the commitments made by the government of Hu Jintao, starting in 2003.
After a slow start and reluctance to recognize the existence of risk activities in its population and of the HIV epidemic, China has responded to international influences, media coverage, and scientific evidence to take bold steps to control the epidemic, using scientifically validated strategies. The country now faces the challenge of scaling up these programmes and of convincing all levels of government to implement these innovative strategies and policies. This vigorous response, incorporating research findings into policy formulation, can be informative to other countries that face similar challenges in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
In China, like elsewhere, HIV/AIDS activists have played and continue to play an essential role in promoting public awareness and education about the disease, helping to prevent discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS and highlighting factors which may impede efforts to check the spread of the disease.
It has been claimed by some international human rights groups that HIV/AIDS activists in China continue to face serious obstacles in their work, including arbitrary detention, harassment and intimidation, and other human rights violations. Restrictions on travel by Dr. Gao Yaojie, a Henan activist, have been cited in news reports.
The country's best-known AIDS activist, Wan Yanhai, believes China suffers 10 times the number of HIV cases – 650,000 – estimated by health officials.
From the early to mid-1990s a network of businessmen and government workers, known as "bloodheads", set up hundreds of official and unofficial blood donation stations in Henan Province to supply the market for blood plasma created by hospitals and manufacturers of health products. The common practice of reusing needles, not screening for diseases, sellers traveling from station to station with false records to maximize their income, and the mixing the blood prior to centrifuging and re-injecting the separated red blood cells back into the peasant blood-sellers guaranteed the rapid spread of blood-borne diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B.
Particularly in the province of Henan, tens of thousands of farmers and peasants were infected with HIV through participation in these programs. On August 23, 2001, the Chinese government admitted that 30,000-50,000 Chinese people could have been infected with HIV through illegal blood collections and sales. On August 24, 2002, the whistleblower Wan Yanhai was arrested in Beijing and detained for a month for leaking an internal government report on the Henan AIDS crisis.
In early December 2006, it was reported that a group of 19 people who contracted HIV from tainted blood transfusions at a hospital in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang were awarded 20 million yuan (US$2.5 million) in compensation. The landmark case involves the largest single group stricken by HIV in China. Eighteen of the victims will receive a one-off payment of $25,500 from the hospital and additional monthly payments of $380. Payment will go to the family of the one victim who has already died from AIDS.
The process of the effect of HIV/AIDS can be described as having three key stages: first, the effect experienced at the micro level; second, at the sectoral level; and finally, at the macro level. The effect began to be observed in China at the micro, or household level, and will most certainly be observed in the future at the sectoral level. Individuals and families have been bearing both the economic and social costs of the disease, and the poverty of those affected have increased and will further increase substantially. Expenditures for the health sector will increase, for both treatment and prevention interventions. The macro level has been mostly unaffected . But if without effective preventive action, the HIV spread in the general population at large will affect the macro level as have happened in some countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The challenge of managing the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic (November 2002 to June 2003) is often credited with further motivating the government to take aggressive policy action on HIV-related issues. SARS showed not only how infectious diseases could threaten economic and social stability but also the effect of China's policies on international health problems. Policymakers announced a change of focus from purely economic goals to increasing the focus on health and social wellbeing and, as a result, increased support for public health agencies. In controlling SARS, contact between the government and international agencies such as WHO, UN, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was essential and further stimulated stronger international collaboration for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Intervention strategies necessary for SARS control have been translated into HIV/AIDS prevention – e.g., real-time electronic case reporting.
The media have exerted substantial influence over the timing and course of HIV control in China by bringing news of HIV to the attention of the public, administrators, and policymakers. In 1996, the Southern Weekend newspaper ran a front-page story and devoted another two pages to AIDS in China. This coverage was the first time any comprehensive exposure of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in China had been published by the Chinese press. From 1999, the international and subsequently the national media reported on the thousands of infected plasma donors in Henan and neighbouring provinces who did not have access to services. Although the government had acted quickly when the tragedy became apparent in 1995 by shutting down collection stations and, later, introducing new laws and regulations on the collection and management of blood and blood products, provision of HIV testing, prevention, and care for donors in the local areas was slower. Progress was stimulated by the media's attention to the plight of the infected plasma donors. Since these initial reports, the HIV/AIDS situation in China has received much attention from the local and international media.
An abridged version of Robert Bilheimer's acclaimed US-made 2003 documentary A Closer Walk was shown on China Central Television (CCTV) on World AIDS Day, December 1 (Friday), 2006, and was rerun Sunday and Monday. It was viewed by around 400 million people. The 75-minute-long documentary, narrated by actors Will Smith and Glenn Close, had premiered in the United States in 2003.
On 25 November 2006, the Associated Press reported that a Chinese HIV/AIDS activist, Wan Yanhai, was apparently arrested shortly before an AIDS seminar was about to take place in Beijing.
Bai Yansong (Chinese: 白岩松; pinyin: Bái Yánsōng) (born August 20, 1968) is a Chinese news commentator, anchor and journalist for China Central Television (CCTV). He has become one of the most recognizable figures in China, serving as the lead anchor on stories such as the Sydney Olympics and the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Bai worked in the newspaper industry before moving to televised news and eventually became an anchor for Focus Report and Oriental Horizon, where he had a reputation as a politically incisive journalist. During his time with CCTV, Bai has been involved in the establishment of several news commentary programs including Timeline and News 1 + 1, the first live news commentary program in China. He has also been the anchor on several more news programs and was a host on the talk show Tell It Like It Is.
Born in Inner Mongolia, he lived on a university campus with his parents who were both professors and graduated from the Beijing Broadcasting Institute before beginning his career in journalism. Bai has extensively covered diplomatic ties between China and Japan during his tenure at CCTV and is part of a political consultancy group that advises the two countries on Sino-Japanese relations. He works to promote political reform through his position in the media, and critical reports on his programs have been suppressed by government censors at least once. As a humanitarian, Bai has been involved in supporting disaster relief efforts following the Sichuan earthquake and promoting efforts against HIV/AIDS.Blood donation
A blood donation occurs when a person voluntarily has blood drawn and used for transfusions and/or made into biopharmaceutical medications by a process called fractionation (separation of whole-blood components). Donation may be of whole blood, or of specific components directly (the latter called apheresis). Blood banks often participate in the collection process as well as the procedures that follow it.
Today in the developed world, most blood donors are unpaid volunteers who donate blood for a community supply. In some countries, established supplies are limited and donors usually give blood when family or friends need a transfusion (directed donation). Many donors donate as an act of charity, but in countries that allow paid donation some donors are paid, and in some cases there are incentives other than money such as paid time off from work. Donors can also have blood drawn for their own future use (autologous donation). Donating is relatively safe, but some donors have bruising where the needle is inserted or may feel faint.
Potential donors are evaluated for anything that might make their blood unsafe to use. The screening includes testing for diseases that can be transmitted by a blood transfusion, including HIV and viral hepatitis. The donor must also answer questions about medical history and take a short physical examination to make sure the donation is not hazardous to his or her health. How often a donor can donate varies from days to months based on what component they donate and the laws of the country where the donation takes place. For example, in the United States, donors must wait eight weeks (56 days) between whole blood donations but only seven days between plateletpheresis donations and twice per seven-day period in plasmapheresis.The amount of blood drawn and the methods vary. The collection can be done manually or with automated equipment that takes only specific components of the blood. Most of the components of blood used for transfusions have a short shelf life, and maintaining a constant supply is a persistent problem. This has led to some increased interest in autotransfusion, whereby a patient's blood is salvaged during surgery for continuous reinfusion—or alternatively, is "self-donated" prior to when it will be needed. (Generally, the notion of "donation" does not refer to giving to one's self, though in this context it has become somewhat acceptably idiomatic.)Chi Heng Foundation
The Chi Heng Foundation (CHF) is a Hong Kong-based non-governmental organisation dedicated to addressing children impacted by AIDS and also to AIDS prevention and education. Established in 1998, the NGO has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Anhui and, especially, Henan. The organisation attracted notice in China in 2004 when it helped Shanghai's Fudan University organise a graduate level class on the subject of homosexuality, the first such class in the country.David Ho
David Da-i Ho (Chinese: 何大一; born November 3, 1952) is a Taiwanese-American medical doctor and HIV/AIDS researcher who was born in Taiwan and has made many innovative state of the art scientific contributions to the understanding and technological treatment of HIV infection. He is the scientific director and chief executive officer of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and the Irene Diamond Professor at Rockefeller University in New York City. In 2019 he and the Diamond Center will move to Columbia University, where he has been appointed Clyde ’56 and Helen Wu Professor of Medicine.David Ho was born in Taichung, Taiwan, to Paul (何步基 Hé Bùjī, an engineer) and Sonia Ho (Jiang) (江雙如 Jiāng Shuāngrú).
David Ho attended Taichung Municipal Guang-Fu Elementary School until sixth grade before immigrating to the United States with his mother and younger brother to unite with his father, who had already been in the US since 1957. He grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from John Marshall High School there. He received his Bachelor of Science in physics with highest honors from the California Institute of Technology (1974) and MD from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (1978). Subsequently, he did his clinical training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at UCLA School of Medicine (1978–1982) and Massachusetts General Hospital (1982–1985), respectively. He was a resident in internal medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in 1981 when he came into contact with some of the first reported cases of what was later identified as AIDS.Discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS
Discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS or serophobia is the prejudice, fear, rejection and discrimination against people afflicted with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV; people living with HIV/AIDS). Discrimination is one manifestation of stigma, and stigmatizing attitudes and behaviors may fall under the rubric of discrimination depending on the legislation of a particular country. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV/AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease and cannot be cured, but with proper treatment, the individual can live just as long as without the disease.
HIV/AIDS discrimination exists around the world, including ostracism, rejection, discrimination, and avoidance. Consequences of stigma and discrimination against PLHIV may result in low turn-out for HIV counselling and testing, identity crises, isolation, loneliness, low self-esteem and lack of interest in containing the disease.Much HIV/AIDS stigma or discrimination involves homosexuality, bisexuality, promiscuity, sex workers, and intravenous drug use.
In many developed countries, a strong correlation exists between HIV/AIDS and male homosexuality or bisexuality (the CDC states, "Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) represent approximately 2% of the United States population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV"), and association is correlated with higher levels of sexual prejudice such as homophobic attitudes. An early name for AIDS was gay-related immune deficiency or GRID. During the early 1980s, HIV/AIDS was "a disorder that appears to affect primarily male homosexuals".Some forms of serious discrimination can include: being excluded from consideration for a job, being prohibited from buying a house, needing to pay extra money when renting housing, compulsory HIV testing without prior consent or protection of confidentiality; the quarantine of HIV infected individuals and, in some cases, the loss of property rights when a spouse dies. HIV testing without permission or security may also be considered as wrongdoings against those with HIV. The United States' disability laws prohibit HIV/AIDS discrimination in housing, employment, education, and access to health and social services. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity enforces laws prohibiting housing discrimination based on actual or perceived HIV/AIDS status.Dream of Ding Village
Dream of Ding Village (Chinese: 丁庄梦, Ding zhuang meng) is a 2006 novel by the Chinese writer Yan Lianke. The 2011 English translation by Cindy Carter, published in the UK by Grove Press, was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.It is a story based on the blood sales in rural Henan province that sparked a major AIDS crisis in China. After the first edition sold out, it was banned—no more copies can be printed in China. Yan Lianke has stated in numerous published interviews that the book could have been better if he had not been self-censoring himself to ensure it could be published.
In 2011, a film adaptation of this novel named Love for Life was released in China, which is directed by Gu Changwei, stars Zhang Ziyi and Aaron Kwok.Gao Yaojie
Gao Yaojie (Chinese: 高耀潔; pinyin: Gāo Yàojié; born 1927) is a Chinese gynecologist, academic, and AIDS activist in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. Gao has been honored for her work by the United Nations and Western organizations, and had spent time under house arrest. Her split with the Chinese authority on the transmission and the seriousness of the AIDS epidemic in China hinders her further activities and resulted in her leaving for the United States in 2009. She is now living alone in uptown Manhattan, New York City.HIV/AIDS in Yunnan
The People's Republic of China's first reported AIDS case was identified in 1985 in a dying tourist. In 1989, the first indigenous cases were reported as an outbreak in 146 infected heroin users in Yunnan province, near China's southwest border.Yunnan is the area most affected by HIV/AIDS in China. In 1989 first infections appeared among needle sharing drug users near the Burmese border. Up until 1993, the disease had remained a problem in the border areas before mobile people (truck drivers, construction and migrant workers and travelers) brought the virus further into the country. In 1995, the provinces of Sichuan and Xinjiang reported their first HIV cases, and by 1998, the virus had spread all over China.
Low awareness of the disease among China's general population appears to be a major culprit. Most Chinese consider HIV/AIDS as a foreign issue, and even educated people are less knowledgeable of the virus, its transmission and prevention, than people in other countries. Until recently, the use of condoms was not very common, even among sex workers and their clients. As a result, the epidemic has spread from high-risk groups (drug users, sex workers, unsafe blood donors) to the general population.Li Dan (activist)
Li Dan (李丹) (born 1978) is a Chinese HIV/AIDS activist. In 2003, he established an AIDS orphanage in Shangqiu, Henan. He was the recipient of the Reebok Human Rights Award in 2006.
He is the founder and chairman of the China Women's Film Festival（中国国际女性影展）Plasma Economy
Plasma Economy (Chinese: 血浆经济) was a 1991-1995 plasmapheresis campaign by the Henan provincial government in China, in which blood plasma were extracted in exchange for money. The campaign attracted 3 million donors of mostly rural Chinese, and it is estimated at least 40% of the blood donors subsequently contracted HIV.The Plasma Economy campaign boomed due to demand by biotech companies, and became a lucrative source of income for middlemen. The campaign had low health and safety standards, and lacked proper sterilization procedures; needles, blood bags, and other equipment in contact with blood were often recycled and reused. It is estimated that by 2003, over 1.2 million people had contracted AIDS in Henan Province alone.Prostitution in China
Shortly after taking power in 1949, the Communist Party of China embarked upon a series of campaigns that purportedly eradicated prostitution from mainland China by the early 1960s. Since the loosening of government controls over society in the early 1980s, prostitution in mainland China not only has become more visible, but can now be found throughout both urban and rural areas. In spite of government efforts, prostitution has now developed to the extent that it comprises an industry, one that involves a great number of people and produces a considerable economic output. Prostitution has also become associated with a number of problems, including organized crime, government corruption and sexually transmitted diseases. For example, a Communist Party official who was a top provincial campaigner against corruption was removed from his post after he was caught in a hotel room with a prostitute.Prostitution-related activities in mainland China are characterised by diverse types, venues and prices. Prostitutes themselves come from a broad range of social backgrounds. They are almost all female, though in recent years male prostitutes have also emerged. Venues typically include hotels, karaoke venues and beauty salons.
Officially, prostitution is illegal in mainland China. The government of China has vacillated, however, in its legal treatment of prostitutes themselves, treating them sometimes as criminals and sometimes as behaving with misconduct. Since the reemergence of prostitution in the 1980s, government authorities have responded by first using the legal system, that is, the daily operations of institutions like courts and police. Second, they have relied on police-led campaigns, clearly delineated periods of intense public activity, as a form of social discipline. Despite lobbying by international NGOs and overseas commentators, there is not much support for legalisation of the sex sector by the public, social organizations or the government of the PRC.
While the sale of sexual intercourse remains illegal throughout mainland China, as of 2013 erotic massage, or more commonly known as massage with "happy endings", is legal in the city of Foshan in Guangdong province. In June of that year, the Foshan Court determined that the sale of erotic massage is not the same as prostitution.Sexuality in China
Sexuality in China has undergone revolutionary changes and this "sexual revolution" still continues today. Chinese sexual attitudes, behaviors, ideology, and relations have changed dramatically in the past decade of reform and opening up of the country. Many of these changes have found expression in the public forum through a variety of behaviors and ideas. These include, but are not limited to the following cultural shifts: a separation of sex and marriage, such as pre- and extramarital sex; a separation of sex from love and child-bearing such as Internet sex and one-night stands; an increase in observable sexual diversity such as homo- and bisexual behavior and fetishism; an increase in socially acceptable displays and behaviors of female sexual desire; a boom in the sex industry; and a more open discussion of sex topics, including sex studies at colleges, media reports, formal publications, on-line information, extensive public health education, and public displays of affection.As can be seen by these developments, China no longer exerts strict control over personal sexual behavior. Sex is increasingly considered something personal and can now be differentiated from a traditional system that featured legalized marital sex and legal controls over childbirth. The reduction in controls on sexual behavior has initiated a freer atmosphere for sexual expression. More and more people now regard sexual rights as basic human rights, so that everyone has the right and freedom to pursue his or her own sexual bliss.Change in the field of sexuality reveals not only a change of sexual attitudes and behaviors but also a series of related social changes via the process of social transformation. From the sociological perspective, there have been several main factors that have created the current turning point in the contemporary Chinese social context.Suicide in Guyana
Suicide in Guyana is a serious social problem, as Guyana is ranked first in suicides per capita worldwide.About 40% of people who commit suicide in Guyana poison themselves by consuming agricultural pesticides.The Blood of Yingzhou District
The Blood of Yingzhou District (simplified Chinese: 颍州的孩子; traditional Chinese: 潁州的孩子; pinyin: Yǐngzhōu de Háizi; translation: The Children of Yingzhou) is a 2006 short film documentary directed by Ruby Yang and produced by Thomas F. Lennon. The film is about the effect of AIDS on orphans in Yingzhou District of Fuyang, Anhui, China. It won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).The film documents the plight of young orphans in Anhui whose parents have died after contracting AIDS as a result of infection while donating blood to earn income, and who sometimes do not receive care in their village since many people in the villages are terrified that they may be infected as a result of contact with the children.Timeline of HIV/AIDS
This is a timeline of AIDS, including AIDS cases before 1980.Together (2011 film)
Together (Chinese: 在一起) is a 2011 Chinese film directed by Zhao Liang. It was filmed beside the Chinese film Love for Life, and chronicles the everyday lives of a variety of different people living in China with HIV/AIDS. The film depicts the living conditions of those living with HIV in China, as well as their own personal thoughts on their disease. Together, like the film Love for Life, was commissioned by the Ministry of Health and backed by the Chinese government. Zhao Liang has been seen as a rebel director, producing documentaries that expose the Chinese government of wrongdoing. For instance, his documentary Petition focused on mistreatment of Chinese by local authorities and government officials. Unlike his previous works, Together was made with the Chinese government and was censored, without mention of the mishandling of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1990s and the cover-up by the government. Instead, the documentary focuses more on the actual lives of individuals with HIV/AIDS instead of touching on the past blood-sharing scandal in villages.Wen Jiabao
Wen Jiabao (born 15 September 1942) is a retired Chinese politician who served as the sixth Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China and serving as China's head of government for a decade between 2003 and 2013. In his capacity as Premier, Wen was regarded as the leading figure behind Beijing's economic policy. From 2002 to 2012, he held membership in the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, the country's de facto top power organ, where he was ranked third out of nine members and headed by Party general secretary Hu Jintao.
He worked as the chief of the Party General Office between 1986 and 1993, and accompanied Party general secretary Zhao Ziyang to Tiananmen Square during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. In 1998, he was promoted to the post of Vice Premier under Premier Zhu Rongji, his mentor, and oversaw the broad portfolios of agriculture and finance.
Wen was dubbed "the people's premier" by both domestic and foreign media. Instead of concentrating on GDP growth in large cities and rich coastal areas, Wen advocated for advancing policies considered more favourable towards farmers and migrant workers. Wen's government reduced agricultural taxes and pursued ambitious infrastructure projects. Following the global financial crisis of 2008, Wen's government injected four trillion yuan as part of a stimulus program.
Seen as the leading member of the reform wing of the Communist Party, Wen's family came under scrutiny by investigative journalists for having accumulated a massive fortune during his time in government, casting a cloud over his legacy shortly prior to his retirement. He left office in 2013 and was succeeded by Li Keqiang.Zhou Dan
Zhou Dan (Chinese: 周丹; pinyin: Zhōu Dān), born in January 1974, is a lawyer, scholar and activist in China. He lives in Shanghai, China. Zhou is a leading voice for rights of gay and lesbian people in mainland China. Writing with his real name about being gay on Chinese websites for years, he came out to a local newspaper about his gay identity in November 2003. Since then, his name has been from time to time mentioned in Chinese newspapers, magazines and television programs.
Zhou also fights for rights of people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS in China, by advocating a human-rights-based approach to the epidemic. In April 2003 he founded the Shanghai Hotline For Sexual Minorities.From January to May 2004, Zhou was a visiting scholar at the Yale Law School China Law Center with research emphasis on equality and anti-discrimination related to sexuality and HIV/AIDS. He once gave several lectures on a graduate class in homosexuality health and an undergraduate class in homosexuality at Fudan University in Shanghai.Zhou was profiled in the May 2005 issue of Têtu, a French gay and lesbian magazine, and in the June 27, 2005 issue of TIME Magazine.
Health in China
|Medicine and pharmaceutical|
|Other related issues|
* Of special administrative regions
Health in China
|Medicine and pharmaceutical|
|Other related issues|
* Of special administrative regions