China’s AIDS Crisis

It is rare for a foreign doctor to get to China’s rural areas, where its AIDS epidemic was born and takes a horrible toll. But recently, two nurses and I ventured into a poor farming area, Nizui in Hubei Province, as part of a Medecins Sans Frontières(MSF) team to visit the Liu family and evaluate their 7-month-old baby. The child was the size of a two month old, but his eyes held the gaze of an 80-year-old man long acquainted with extreme suffering. The baby was dying of AIDS. His parents, aunts, and uncles were also HIV-positive.

The Liu family is one of thousands of poor farming families in China’s interior who contracted HIV through contaminated blood donations during the 1990’s, when under-regulated for-profit blood banking companies reused needles and transferred blood from infected donors to clean donors after extracting the plasma.

The Chinese Health Ministry recently put the total number of HIV/AIDS cases at 840,000, although most experts believe that the true number is much higher. Some believe that by 2010, the number of infected Chinese may reach 10 million.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/mOsYbjY;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.