New Minnesota-Based Organization Raises Money To Help Chinese AIDS Orphans
A "fledgling" Minnesota-based organization on Tuesday said that it has raised $8,000 toward its initial goal of $10,000 to help AIDS orphans in the Chinese province of Henan, where more than one million people are estimated to be HIV-positive, the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Dr. Steven Wang, a Chinese native who now lives in Minneapolis, and seven other area professionals joined together to create the China AIDS Orphan Fund, after Wang read about the epidemic in Henan in a New York Times story in August 2002 and decided that something needed to be done to help the children whose parents are dying of AIDS-related conditions. Many of the people in Henan contracted HIV through unsterile blood collection practices in the 1990s. Wang learned that many AIDS orphans were dropping out of school because they could not afford to pay the annual $65 fee, according to the Star Tribune. "I thought it was just a very, very bleak situation and I thought something should be done about it," Wang said. The fund will contribute to the Chi Heng Foundation, the only charity the Chinese government has authorized to work on AIDS in Henan. The fund, which began raising money last month, hopes to pay school fees for orphans; provide infant formula so that infants do not contract HIV through the breastmilk of their HIV-positive mothers; pay funeral fees; and provide antiretroviral drugs to people living with HIV/AIDS, according to the Star Tribune (Black, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 4/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.