Global Fund Awards China $95M for HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment Efforts
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has awarded a $95 million five-year grant to China to help the country fight its "ballooning" HIV/AIDS epidemic, AFP/Yahoo! News reports (AFP/Yahoo! News, 11/14). The money, which is the first Global Fund grant awarded to China and the largest single grant China has received for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, will go to support a program aimed at poor farmers in seven rural Chinese provinces. Over the first two years, $32 million will be used to help HIV-positive people in Henan province, according to Agence France-Presse. The grant primarily will be used to strengthen the operational system of China's free antiretroviral program, including providing training for medical personnel, which is lacking in the country, according to Agence France-Presse. The Global Fund plans to help the county provide antiretrovirals to 40,000 people in five years, compared to 3,000 HIV-positive Chinese who currently receive free treatment, Agence France-Presse reports.
Human Rights Issues
A China-based UNICEF AIDS expert, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the Global Fund plans to address "fundamental human rights problem[s]" faced by people living with HIV in China, adding that the fund "will not simply hand over money to China, but will require adequate oversight and accounting," according to Agence France-Presse. Some HIV-positive people in China face human rights "abuse, including jailings," Agence France-Presse reports. The anonymous expert said, "Lacking care is a clear and blatant form of human rights violation." The country's Ministry of Health said that the funding "should provide substantial relief" to China's HIV-positive population, according to Agence France-Presse (Agence France-Presse, 11/14). Tsinghua University professor Jing Jun said that the grant is "good news" for people living with HIV/AIDS in China, 80% of whom live in "remote" rural areas. In addition, 70% of HIV/AIDS patients in China cannot afford antiretroviral therapy, according to China Daily (Feng, China Daily, 11/14). Chinese estimates indicate that 840,000 people are living with HIV in China and that 80,000 have AIDS, but some experts believe that the figures are "grossly inaccurate," Agence France-Presse reports (Agence France-Presse, 11/14).
Additional information on AIDS in China is available online from kaisernetwork.org's Issue Spotlight on AIDS.