August 31, 2010
The father of jailed Chinese AIDS activist Tian Xi worries that his son is missing his medicine and may not be eating well. Tian Xi has HIV and hepatitis B and C; he reportedly received a tainted blood transfusion as a child at Xincai County No. 1 People's Hospital. After recently spending more than a week shuttling between government offices as he sought compensation, Tian Xi allegedly smashed some office equipment in anger when the hospital's administrator said he could not help and rose to leave the meeting. He was arrested two weeks later and charged with intentionally damaging property; activists, however, say Tian Xi's real offense was angering local authorities with his campaign for more help for HIV patients. The jail where Tian Xi is being held is a two-hour drive from his hometown. "I want to bring him home where we can take care of him," said Tian Demin. "Is he getting enough to eat right now? He needs nutritious food. He needs treatment." Lawyer Liang Xiaojun said he will appeal for Tian Xi's release pending trial on the charges, to which the activist will plead not guilty.