Newsday Editorial Criticizes Detention of Chinese AIDS Activist Wan Yanhai
The detention of Chinese AIDS activist Wan Yanhai was a "terrible move" on the part of Chinese officials, particularly because China is "racing against time" to contain its HIV/AIDS epidemic, a Long Island Newsday editorial states. Wan was held by Chinese officials for nearly one month on allegations that he "revealed state secrets" by publishing a document on the link between unsafe blood collection practices and HIV infections in Henan province. Wan's disclosure of the information "is vital in a country where AIDS is sweeping like wildfire through some regions," the editorial states, noting that UNAIDS statistics indicate that HIV infections in China rose 67% in the first six months of 2001. The editorial states that Chinese officials have recently "shown a willingness to face up" to the country's AIDS epidemic by seeking ways to provide antiretroviral drugs to HIV-positive individuals and by acknowledging that one million Chinese could be HIV-positive by the end of this year. But activism is key in helping fight HIV/AIDS, the editorial states, noting that AIDS groups in the United States have "spread the prevention gospel to isolated high-risk groups" and "pushed officialdom to move faster" on the issue. "Too many nations have learned the hard way that they can't respond to a medical crisis by dismantling the noisiest alarms," the editorial concludes (Long Island Newsday, 9/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.