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HIV/AIDS Activists Protesting for Compensation and Health Care in China Were Detained Ahead of World AIDS Day 2013

December 3, 2013

This article was reported by the International Business Times.

The International Business Times reported that police in Beijing, China, arrested approximately 30 AIDS activists staging demonstrations in front of government buildings prior to World AIDS Day. According to Radio Free Asia, the activists were marching from China's Civil Affairs Ministry to the busy shopping district of Wangfujing, protesting HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination and calling for improved healthcare and government subsidies promised to HIV-infected people. Many of the approximately 200 protesters had HIV or late-stage AIDS.

The activists aimed to promote AIDS awareness in general, but specifically to draw attention to people infected with HIV through tainted blood transfusions in a "blood-selling scheme" in rural hospitals. According to HIV-infected people from the poverty-stricken Henan, Hebei, and Shandong provinces, Chinese government "Document No. 26" listed benefits local governments must extend to HIV-infected children and orphans of people who died from AIDS. The document also stipulated that local governments were to provide a living allowance of 600 yuan ($100) per month to HIV-infected people. The HIV-infected protesters asserted that some of them received only 200 yuan ($30) per month or nothing at all.

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