Survival Is Cold Comfort in AIDS-Stricken Rural China
March 21, 2007
An estimated 300,000 farmers in China's rural Henan province caught HIV through state-promoted blood-buying enterprises in the 1990s. Now, 253 state-funded clinics across Henan give HIV-infected residents free drugs. The clinics also stock aspirin and other simple medicines.
The province named 38 villages as "key" ones to receive more drugs and help. Other villages not on the list do not receive newer treatments. Many HIV/AIDS patients in Henan endure destitution and poor diets. "These problems ultimately reflect the problems of the rural medical system and countryside in general, said Zhang Ke, an AIDS doctor at Beijing's You'an Hospital, who has studied Henan's epidemic.
The province recently announced it would give rural HIV patients a monthly stipend of 30 yuan ($3.80 US). Villagers said they now get a monthly payment of 18 yuan ($2.30 US). The annual payments add up to a tenth of the income earned by non-HIV infected farmers in the region.
03.14.07; Chris Buckley
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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.