La crisis del sida en China

No es frecuente que un médico extranjero visite las zonas rurales de China, donde la epidemia de sida nació en ese país y se cobra un horrible precio en víctimas. Pero recientemente dos enfermeras y yo nos aventuramos a entrar en una zona agrícola pobre, Nizui, en la provincia de Hubei, como parte del equipo de Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), para visitar a la familia Liu y reconocer a su niño de siete meses de edad. Éste tenía el tamaño de un niño de dos meses, pero en sus ojos había la mirada de un hombre de ochenta años de edad familiarizado desde hace mucho con un sufrimiento extremo. El niño estaba muriendo de sida y sus padres, tías y tíos eran también seropositivos.

La familia Liu es una de los millares de familias campesinas pobres del interior de China que contrajeron el VIH mediante donaciones de sangre contaminadas durante el decenio de 1990, cuando empresas lucrativas de bancos de sangre no suficientemente reglamentadas reutilizaban las agujas y transmitían sangre de donantes infectados a donantes sanos después de extraer el plasma.

Recientemente, el Ministerio de Salud chino cifró el número total de casos de VIH/SIDA en 840.000, si bien la mayoría de los expertos están convencidos de que la cifra verdadera es muy superior. Algunos creen que en 2010 el número de chinos infectados puede ascender a 10 millones.

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