August 18, 2011
A Chinese AIDS activist who has campaigned on behalf of those infected with HIV through the government blood supply has been freed from prison after serving a one-year sentence for "intentional destruction of property." Tian Xi "is completely free," his lawyer said, and has returned to his parents' home in Henan. Tian, who contracted HIV through a blood transfusion as a child, was detained last August after he broke some items during an argument at a hospital where he had gone to request more medicine. He was sentenced in February; his prison term ended Wednesday because authorities gave him credit for the months he was jailed before his trial. In the 1990s, tens of thousands of Chinese villagers were infected with HIV through unsanitary government-backed or illegal blood-buying programs.