Annan Says China Has ‘No Time to Lose’ in Fight Against HIV/AIDS
In a speech Monday at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that China is "facing a decisive moment" and has "no time to lose" if the country is to "prevent a massive further spread of HIV/AIDS," the New York Times reports (New York Times, 10/15). In the speech -- the U.N.'s "highest-profile appeal to date" to China about HIV/AIDS -- Annan said, "China stands on the brink of an explosive AIDS epidemic" that could create "crippling social and economic costs," the AP/Nando Times reports (Fackler, AP/Nando Times 10/13). Annan called for "leadership at every level" and efforts to "brea[k] the silence and stigma that surrounds" HIV/AIDS in the country, Agence France-Presse reports (Agence France-Presse, 10/14). Chinese leaders need to "spread the message that AIDS is a problem with a solution," Annan said, adding, "People need to know that they can be tested without shame; that if they are infected they will be treated; that if they fall ill, they can live safe from discrimination." He said, "[W]hat happens in China over the next years and decades will also help determine the global impact of the disease." U.N. officials estimate that between 800,000 and 1.5 million Chinese people were HIV-positive by the end of 2001 and that 10 million Chinese people could be infected with the virus by the end of the decade (Reuters, 10/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.