China's HIV/AIDS Policies Need to Be Fully Implemented at All Levels: Researcher
November 19, 2010
Implementing national HIV/AIDS policies at local government levels in China will require more resources, including adequate funding, according to Dr. David Ho, the researcher who pioneered highly active antiretroviral therapy.
"China's central government policies on HIV/AIDS are quite good," Ho said. "They are really all going into the right direction. But the problem is how to enforce these policies effectively in local regions."
"From policies to implementation there is a gap, a long gap in some circumstances," said Ho. "So policies need to be backed up with sufficient resources, and need to be enforced, or policies will have no strength."
"The local government needs to be provided with appropriate funding, because the local people cannot do it without money," Ho said. Though the central government has free HIV testing and treatment policies, inadequate funding at the local government level means patients cannot benefit from them, he said.
Since 2005, Ho's collaborative effort with Yunnan province to prevent mother-to-child HIV infection has cut the participants' transmission rate to less than 2 percent. However, new AIDS cases are increasing at a rate of 20 percent per year in major cities in the east and southwest, such as in Chengdu, Sichuan province and Guiyang, Guizhou province, Ho said. That suggests a need for further government measures, he added.
"I have greatest faith in China's top leaders," said Ho, director of the New York-based Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center. "They are knowledgeable and enlightened. But the government really needs to focus more attention on enforcing the policies at all levels and get them fully implemented."
Xinhua News Agency
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