Chinese Officials Call Human Rights Watch Report on HIV/AIDS "Inappropriate"
September 5, 2003
Chinese officials on Thursday said that a recent report issued by Human Rights Watch criticizing the Chinese government's response to HIV/AIDS is "inappropriate," Reuters reports (Reuters, 9/4). The 94-page report, titled "Locked Doors: The Human Rights of People Living with HIV/AIDS in China," was based on more than 30 interviews with HIV-positive people, police officers, drug users and outreach workers in Beijing, Hong Kong and Yunnan province. The report found HIV prevalence rates among people who participated in a government-sponsored blood selection scheme to be between 4% and 40% across seven Chinese provinces, which have a combined total population of 420 million people. "This suggests that the number of persons with HIV is much higher than the one million cases that Beijing officially acknowledges," the report says. The report also said that HIV-positive people face discriminatory laws on both the national and local levels. According to the report, HIV-positive people in China may also lack access to health care services and information on how to prevent HIV transmission (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/4). Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Kong Quan said, "The central government pays great attention to the defense against, prevention and treatment of AIDS in China. On this issue, it should be said that the overall cooperation between the Chinese government and the international community has been effective and we will continue it" (Reuters, 9/4).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.