CDC Opens Global AIDS Program Office in China; Will Work With Local Authorities To Fight Epidemic
The CDC on Monday opened an office in China that will work with local authorities to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country, the Business Daily Update reports (Business Daily Update, 10/21). China's program is the newest of the 25 country programs set up by the CDC under its Global AIDS Program, which was established three years ago (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/20). In a statement, the CDC said that the new office will seek to "garner greater national and local government commitment for fighting HIV/AIDS, to strengthen Chinese efforts in HIV/AIDS prevention and care, and to aid the containment of localized HIV/AIDS epidemics" (Agence France-Presse, 10/20). The program -- which will work in 56 counties in seven Chinese provinces -- will bring $15 million to the country's AIDS prevention and treatment efforts over the next five years, China Daily reports (Feng, China Daily, 10/21). Experts estimate that there are more than one million HIV-positive people in China, but the number of cases reported may be lower than the actual number of cases (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/20).
U.S. Ambassador to China Clark Randt said on Monday, "Swift and meaningful action must be taken now if China is to avert the tragedy of an HIV/AIDS crisis," adding that the fight against HIV/AIDS is "one of the highest foreign policy priorities of the United States government" (Agence France-Presse, 10/20). Li Liming, director of the Chinese CDC, said, "The biggest challenge we're facing is how to prevent the disease from transmitting to the general public from high-risk" groups (Xinhua News Agency, 10/20). Chinese Vice Health Minister Huang Jiefu said that he welcomed the U.S. agency, according to Agence France-Presse. He added, "Globalization of diseases and globalization of the threat to public health means globalization of the fight against it" (Agence France-Presse, 10/20). Huang also said that the country will "honor its commitment to take transparent and open-minded measures" to fight HIV/AIDS because "China has learned many lessons from the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak, and one of them is international cooperation" (Xinhua News Agency, 10/20).