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International News

China Criticized Over High Death Rate of Blood Seller AIDS Patients

January 25, 2006

In announcing new estimates of China's HIV/AIDS epidemic today, the Health Ministry acknowledged a high AIDS mortality rate among those who contracted HIV through unsafe, government-approved plasma collecting stations.

Of the 25,000 people who died of AIDS in China last year, 10,000 acquired their infections through blood-buying schemes, said the Health Ministry. The high mortality comes despite estimates that those infected through blood-buying, mostly poor farmers, comprise a small proportion of total AIDS cases in China.

The high mortality figure also exposes flaws in the two-year-old government program to offer free treatment to the farmers, said AIDS activists.

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"There are many people who don't have access to the free medicine," said Hu Jia, coordinator of Lovingsource, a nongovernmental group in Beijing. The treatments offered contain older drugs that also have severe side effects, Hu said. "Many people's conditions deteriorate after using the three-drug combination because they also got hepatitis B from blood selling and the drugs do further harm to the liver."

Since it often takes years before HIV progresses to AIDS, it could also be that the blood-sellers are just beginning to reach the critical stage in their disease.

Back to other news for January 25, 2006

Adapted from:
Agence France Presse
01.25.06


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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