Secretary of State Powell Commends Chinese Premier for Public Acceptance of HIV-Positive People
Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday at a State Department dinner commended Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's public acceptance of HIV-positive people during a World AIDS Day event, Agence France-Presse reports (Agence France-Presse, 12/9). Wen on Dec. 1 appeared on Chinese state television greeting HIV/AIDS patients and appealing to the country to treat HIV-positive people with "care and love," marking the first time a senior Chinese leader publicly addressed the country's HIV/AIDS epidemic. The visit also marked the first time a top Chinese government official publicly met with an HIV-positive person. Wen, who was accompanied by Vice Premier Wu Yi, wore a red ribbon and pledged to make HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment a high priority, urging government officials at all levels to act with a "spirit of high responsibility to the people" and calling for a "struggle with full confidence against the disease" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/2). Powell said, "I appreciate your efforts on the AIDS crisis and I particularly applaud your efforts to remove the stigma of AIDS in China and to help those so much in need of medical care." He added, "On this and many other matters, you have been candid, constructive and you have sought cooperative relationships and that is precisely what we seek with China: a candid, constructive and cooperative relationship." In recent months, the Chinese government has taken several actions that signal increasing momentum in the fight against HIV/AIDS, according to Agence France-Presse. Approximately one million HIV-positive people live in China. Wen is scheduled to meet with President Bush at the White House on Tuesday (Agence France-Presse, 12/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.