China Bans AIDS Conference; Officials Fear Foreign Involvement in Sensitive Issue, Organizer Says
July 30, 2007
Organizers of a planned AIDS conference in China said Sunday they have been told by government authorities to cancel the meeting. The conference, scheduled for early August in Guangzhou near Hong Kong, would have brought together 50 Chinese and foreign experts to discuss the legal rights of people with HIV/AIDS.
"Authorities informed us that the combination of AIDS, law, and foreigners was too sensitive," said Sara Davis of the New York-based Asia Catalyst group, one of the organizers. Currently, there are no plans to reschedule the meeting, she added.
Co-organized with Beijing's China Orchid AIDS Project, the meeting was to have brought in experts from South Africa, India, Canada, the United States, and Thailand. Planned topics included blood safety, discrimination, and creating a legal assistance center for people living with HIV/AIDS.
"Protecting legal rights is key to any successful fight against AIDS," said Davis. "China has passed laws protecting those rights, and people with AIDS need assistance in order to exercise them."
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.