Breaking Down Taboos, China Begins to Confront the HIV/AIDS Crisis
"[W]hile AIDS remains a taboo topic in the hinterlands, China is beginning to confront the health crisis," Newsweek reports in a feature on AIDS in China. The country will present its "official anti-AIDS effort" this week to mark World AIDS Day, and celebrated rock stars are scheduled to perform a benefit concert in Beijing to raise money for government AIDS-awareness efforts. "Ignorance and prejudice -- combined with an absence of social activism -- had until recently created an invisible demon," Newsweek reports. But AIDS activism is becoming more open and common, though still "controversial," breaking down the stigmatism around the disease that has served as a barrier to education. Some universities have included mandatory AIDS-awareness classes in their curricula, during which volunteers demonstrate how to sterilize hypodermic needles or use condoms. Beijing's government officials even began assisting the city's "most prominent gay hotline" two years ago, providing condoms for distribution in gay bars. Places like Yunnan province, at the "epicenter of the country's HIV/AIDS explosion," have made a particularly concerted effort to curb the spread of AIDS. ThThis is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.