People With HIV/AIDS in China’s ‘AIDS Village’ Claim Partial Victory After Protest Yields Medical Stipend
Villagers from Wenlou, a farming community in China's Henan province that is at the center of the nation's AIDS epidemic, claimed a "partial victory" yesterday after officials agreed to pay those with AIDS a small stipend for medicine following a protest the day before, Agence France-Presse reports. About 80 people from Wenlou, known throughout China as the "AIDS village," protested on Tuesday outside of the Shangcai County government offices, demanding treatment and "more government attention to their plight." The protest was thought to be the largest demonstration held so far by people with HIV/AIDS in China. County officials did not agree to provide full-scale treatment but did agree to give villagers with AIDS $36 a month beginning April 1 for medicine. People with HIV will receive $12 a month. The protestors said the sum was too low and would not help the majority of those with the disease, who rely on growing vegetables for a living. The government has established a free clinic in Wenlou, but villagers say it only provides "basic" medicines and does not go far enough in assisting those with HIV/AIDS. Henan attracted international attention to China's HIV/AIDS epidemic after more than 100,000 people in the province were infected with HIV through unsafe blood collection practices (Sui, Agence France-Presse, 3/27).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.